Monday, December 31, 2012

Top 5's

Top 5...Things I Did Well in 2012

1. Hiked a really, really, really big mountain (really big)
2. Took girls to some great places in Southern CA
3. Enjoyed family visits whether we visited them or they visited us
4. Ushered in both a double digit daughter and an official teenager
5. Advocated for and cheered on my girls in school and extra-curricular activities

Top 5...Things That Need My Attention

1. The office  (this will be fun to read at the end of 2013 and see how I did)
2. The garage  (this will be fun to read at the end of 2013 and see how I did)
3. Digging deep and using my determination
4. More date nights (we did well, but need to do better)
5. Healthy living (I can't believe how long it takes me to get started on stuff!)

If you follow the blog, you saw a lot of the first five as they unfolded throughout the year.  The second set of five are things I struggle with.  It's time to stop talking about it and start doing.  Enough said about that.

Family Top 5

1. Hiked a really, really, really big mountain (we all did it, we all get to claim it)
2. Heather ran track and wowed our socks off, and then earned a spot on a club volleyball team
3. Jenna remains our soccer star and successfully transitioned to a new school
4. Kelly inspired his scouts and continued to be a stellar leader for his Young Men
5. All participated in our church's big musical production in some way, and it was very successful

It is a family blog after all, and Kelly and the girls have had many great moments.  As for things they want to work on, it's kind of an individual thing.  Maybe we'll make some goals this next family night.

For last year's post click here on Top 5

New Year's Eve

After a yummy lunch with Jo at Ruby's, we welcomed friends for New Year's Eve.  Don and LeAnn and Seth and Linsday came to play games.  We gave Mexican Train a few rounds before switching to Loaded Question.  We counted down with the ball in Times Square and had our traditional toast with Martinelli's.  When Joanna returned from her friends' house, she drove us over to the Holbrook's home so we could bang some pots and pans and wish our dear neighbors a happy New Year.  Sadly, I didn't take any photos--I was too busy shaking my noise maker.  Happy New Year!  Here comes 2013!!!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Visiting with Jo-Jo 12/29 - 12/31

My cousin, Joanna, came over from Arizona for a New Year's Eve weekend visit.  We made homemade pizza's, painted fingernails (she and Jenna matched), and went to lunch at Ruby's on the pier.  After our lunch at Ruby's,s he spent New Year's Eve with some friends, and we said good-bye on New Year's Day.  It was so awesome to have her visit!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Time With Uncle Kevin

After Aunt Beth departed Thursday evening, we had Uncle Kevin all to ourselves.  We played all 12 rounds of Mexican Train with him.  It was his first time, and he destroyed us!  Winston tried for a minute, but found that he preferred lying next to our feet while we played.

On Friday, I went for a quick lunch with friends.  Marina has been at her mom's place in Northern California for an entire month transitioning her mom out of her home and getting it ready to sell.  She needed to squeeze in some talk time before returning to finish the job.

After lunch, we got Uncle Kevin ready to go and headed to Ruby's on the pier for an early dinner.  It's always our favorite to be out over the ocean and look back to the snow capped mountains.  We live in a great place!  Uncle Kevin got off safely.  It was so great to have Kevin and Beth here at Christmastime.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Christmas

This is my last post for today which finishes off an entire month of posts.  I got into Picasa Web today to see what I needed to do with my blog photos, and my folder was miraculously only 19 percent full.  I don't know what happened, but that gave me the GO signal.  It's good to be back blogging even if it has taken me the better part of an afternoon to catch up (sorry about your in-boxes my email recipients!).

We've been really low-key yesterday and today.  Jenna has built two major Legos all by herself, and the girls have been playing Heather's new Lord of The Rings Lego game for XBox when they're not playing Legos.  Our company has had other family and friends to visit, and Kelly and I have been really kicking back.  We did get a game of Harry Potter Uno in with Grandpa the day after Christmas which is always fun.

Grandpa left for home this morning and while Beth was out visiting friends, the boys and I did a Costco run, the girls played video games all day, and Kelly and Kevin made enchiladas with the left over turkey.  We said good-bye to Aunt Beth tonight and will finish off the day with movie or board game.  It's nice having Kelly home, having time to relax and having no place we need to be.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Christmas was lovely.  We were very blessed and loved having Kevin, Beth and Grandpa with us to celebrate.  Here are some pictures from throughout the day with a couple of captions for clarity...

 Winston was very excited about his stocking full of jerky and treats

The girls scored on Legos

Jenna played Santa

 Heather designed and stitched a pillow case for Beth and Kevin

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve was a busy day.  Our baking was done, but I'd left the house cleaning until that day so that the rooms and bathrooms would be fresh for guests.  I won't do that again.  It's too hard to clean for hours and then enjoy the day.  Kelly and I delivered goodie trays after our taco dinner.  The presents were wrapped ahead of time, so that was a good thing.  We did watch a movie before bed, and our munchkins went to bed at midnight.  That, of course, delayed Santa's arrival.  I saw pictures of my Arizona family on facebook which made me miss our Christmas Eve gatherings.  Next year I plan to be ready the day before Christmas Eve so we can enjoy some family time together.  I took this picture before I went to bed.  Don't you just love your tree all lit up with presents surrounding it?  I do.  I've been known to sit in the quite and gaze at it just like I did as a child.  I love that magic feeling that Christmas brings.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


Having our new oven has been awesome!  Our thanksgiving turkey was divine.  We've also baked lemon cakes, cinnamon rolls, brownies and I baked our holiday goodie items as well.  I even pulled out a cookbook and savored the time choosing the right baked goods for the holiday platters.  I took no pictures (I know), but the platters had Oreo Cookie Cheesecakes, Chocolate Malted Cupcakes, and Applesauce Spice Cupcakes (all Martha Stewart recipes).  It's great to have an oven that heats up quickly and cooks things evenly.  Kelly has made three batches of cinnamon rolls this month, and they've been delicious!  Here are some pictures of our delicacies...

Brownies cut out with a biscuit cutter and topped with cream cheese frosting and white chocolate peppermint chips

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Piano Recital

The girls performed in the annual piano program and hot chocolate recital that Mrs. Holbrook holds for her students.  I love taking pictures of the girls at the piano and seeing how they've grown over the years.  After successful performances, the girls hung out with their friends.  Grandpa was able to attend since he was here early for our Disneyland and Special Persons Day events.