Sunday, January 25, 2009

We're Going to Bakersfield!!!!

Brian, your soccer team just won the Section Regionals. Where are you going?

"We're Going to Bakersfield"!!!

Yesterday, Brian's soccer team won both of their games. These wins and the win from last week means that they are officially the Region's:

First Place U12 Boys Team!!!!

The boys played in the semi-finals in the pouring rain for their first game and won 4- 1. Then they played in the Championship game two hours later and won 5 -2. I didn't take any pictures because of the rain, but they were great games. Now the boys compete for the Southern California title in February in Bakersfield. After their win, the boys were screaming, "We're Going to Bakersfield!" (to the tune of "we're going to Disneyland!").

Because their coach was unable to be at their 2nd game, all the families got together tonight for a celebration pizza party. With 11 year old boys, there's always an excuse for pizza! The boys were awarded their 1st Place Medals. They were told to be serious (not by me) for the group shot. I prefer wild and crazy!
Brian with his coach. Congratulations, Brian!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Food, Food & More Food

I don't know what it is about rainy days, but it always makes me anxious until I go out and stock up my pantry. I was born and raised in California, so I know that we're not going to be snowed in for days, unable to go to the grocery store to feed my family. I, alas, have this compulsive need when it rains to stockpile, bake, and make batches of food.

So, I baked my honey an Angel's Food Cake because it's his favorite and he's had a rough week. He had a piece before I had a chance to take a photo. To me, Angel Food Cake is neither a cake, nor a dessert. It's kind of like eating spongy air. But, to each his own.

Next, I baked Cream Cheese Brownies to take to a Poker Game we're going to tomorrow evening. Now, this is dessert!!

Then I decided to make Spaghetti & Meatballs with homemade sauce and homemade meatballs. Usually, we're in such a hurry, it's jar sauce for us and just add in a few herbs. But the sauce that I made today is the kind of sauce that needs to simmer for 4 hours and needs to be made with lots of love and patience (Are you hearing me familia? Code: love & patience = you'd better eat it and not complain! Asking for seconds will earn you extra points!).

Empty plates make me a happy girl!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Sick Boy

Sean woke up this morning at 5:30 with the stomach flu. Yuck! The poor thing just collapsed and passed out on the couch after the last trip to the bathroom. How sweet does he look when he’s sleeping?

As a mom, you hate to see your kids suffer. You rub their back as they stand over the toilet, offer tissues and sips of water, and hold them until the chills subside. Dads on the other hand , kiss their sons good-bye with the collar of their shirt pulled over their mouth and then run out of the house declaring, “I don’t want to get IT!”. In all fairness, Chris handles the situations involving blood.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

History & Hope

Yes, We Did!!!!! This is a new day filled with hope!

Monday, January 19, 2009


I have an affection for birds. There. I said it. Now, I don't want to be known as the crazy bird lady (cousin to the crazy cat lady), but I am fascinated by birds. Especially hummingbirds. I often find myself staring out my kitchen window just watching the hummingbirds dart back and forth between the feeders. They literally mesmerize me.

One of my photography goals is to capture "the perfect photo" of a hummingbird. I'm talking about National Geographic photo qualilty. This is not it! But I need to practice and this is one of my practice shots. I'm probably using the wrong lens (hint to Chris - hee hee!).

This picture was not Photoshopped. His head is actually this color of purple! He's a little blurry, but I put it in so that you can see his pretty colors.

One time my family was over for some occasion and my sister, Terri, looked out my kitchen window and screamed "A HUMMER! I LOVE HUMMERS!" Well, my husband spit his drink out (because he has the humor of a 14 year old boy) and now these birds are known around the house as "hummers". Chris giggles every time he hears it. Every. Single. Time.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Honor Society Induction

Last night was the Induction Ceremony for the National Jr. Honor Society at the boys' school. I'm proud to say that both boys earned good enough grades to meet the qualifications (GPA 3.5 or higher). Now they just have to put in their 8 hours of Community Service. This was Brian's first year as a middle school student and HE DID IT!! How happy does he look?!

Brian posing for pictures with their principal, Mrs. E.

Sean has been in the Honor Society for two & a half years now. Pretty good for a kid that was close to being retained in the 2nd grade.

Grandma Toni came to show her support for the boys. If anyone knows how difficult Middle School can be, it's her. She was an Administrator for several years and has seen and heard it all! Afterward, we celebrated with ice cream at Baskin Robbins.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hangin' Out in Sean's Room

At least there's a book in his hand instead of a video game controller! Woo! Hoo! Actually, Sean's an avid reader and this is his favorite place to read (unless we have the fireplace going). To keep things real...he's also an avid video game player (he's 13 after all). There's just not a game system in his room.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cookie Recipe

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - Ever! Recipe

After searching and searching, I think I finally found the best chocolate chip cookie recipe – ever! What makes these cookies taste so special? Cream cheese. Yep, these are not for the calorie counters, or the ones watching their fat intake. The cream cheese gives this cookie a smoother texture and a little hint of a “zing” that you can’t quite put your finger on.

Some people prefer a crispy cookie and some of us prefer a chewy cookie. These cookies are crispy on the edges and soft and gooey in the center. It’s the best of both worlds!

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - EVER

1/4 cup butter

1/3 cup cream cheese
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 egg yolks
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 + 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt 1 package semi-sweet chocolate chips, about 6 ounces
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, cream cheese, and brown sugar on low speed with an electric mixer. Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix on low until just combined.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Add to butter mixture and mix by hand until combined. Portion heaping teaspoonfuls (or use a small ice-cream scoop) onto baking sheet about 2 inches apart. Bake for 7 minutes. Lightly flatten cookies with finger. Rotate baking sheet and bake an additional 3 minutes.

Editors Note: I tend to make my cookies very big (hey, if you’re going to have a cookie; then HAVE A COOKIE!) I used the Pampered Chef medium scoop and it takes a bit longer to bake (about 14 minutes total).

Don’t skip the step of flattening the cookie half way through the baking time. Yes, it will make a difference.

Also, the original recipe called for brushing the cookie sheets with canola oil before placing the cookies on it. I tried this, but I don’t recommend it. The oil ran off my flat cookie sheets and made a mess of my oven (and the smoke alarm went off). I just use parchment paper, or a Sil-pat and they turn out just fine.


OOPS! I didn't post yesterday because we had a full day. Brian's soccer team played their first game in the area finals yesterday. His team won 4-1. WOOO! HOOO! He also had his team party yesterday where the boys were awarded with their trophies, pins and medals.

Here's Brian with his trophy. The soccer ball spins, which all the boys thought was very cool.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies - EVER!

Recipe will be posted this weekend!

Thursday, January 8, 2009


They're already sick of my blog.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Science Project

Every Friday, Sean has a "10% Science Project" due. The kids have to come up with experiments (or reports) demonstrating the different standards of science (i.e. gravity, motion, chemical reaction, etc.). The kids can do anything they want: videos, posters, reports, models- it's all up to them. And you guessed it, it's worth 10% of their grade. For the most part, he's had fun doing these projects (except when it's 8:00 pm on Thursday night and he has no idea what to do). Thank God for the Internet (and Steve Spengler - Internet science dude).

This week he's demonstrating the chemical reaction vinegar has on an egg. The vinegar is supposed to "eat away" the hard shell so that all that's left is the thin membrane of the egg (kinda like a balloon). He plans on presenting the photos of the process and then bringing in the membrane to class. So, if I was asked to take photos of this experiment, I was going to use it on my blog (two birds with one stone).

Oh! I forgot. First, you have to "blow out" the inside of the egg.

This was harder than it seemed (and pretty gross).

The egg had to be submerged in the vinegar, but it kept floating. So, ingenious mother that I am...I let him use my French coffee press. Worked great. I'll let you know how it all turns out. It's supposed to take a few days.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Ginger Puppy

Actually, she' 14 years old and just really tiny.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mourning Doves

I found two Mourning Doves sitting on a post in my backyard. I snapped a few pictures before they flew away. This pair of doves have been visiting my backyard a couple times a week for the past year. At least, I think it's the same pair.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Helping Dad

This is my older son, Sean. He's a good model - sometimes. Usually he's the one in the picture making faces, looking at everything but the camera, and displaying "rabbit ears" behind somebody's head. He was deeply concentrating on stripping the paint off of this antique slot machine, so he didn't know that I was taking his picture.

This is my hubby, Chris. Sean & Chris have been working on this slot machine for a few days now. What you see next to them is the "guts" of the slot machine. It's now working and pays off the correct amounts. Now they just have to paint the outside and remember how to put it all back together. Sean wanted to get back to work, so he humored me and posed for the photo.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Favorite Model

This is my son Brian. He's my favorite model - WHEN he's in a good mood. If he's not "feeling it", then all photos are a lost cause. Today, he was in "model mode" and he let me snap away.

I love those freckles!

365 Photo Challenge

I've decided to try the "365 Photo Challenge"....taking at least one picture each day of 2009. In theory, I'll figure out how to work my camera and get over my technology fears in one swoop. Anyone else up for the challenge?

Happy New Year! This photo was taken at my in-laws house on New Years Day. They have beautiful oak trees around that are as old as time. A New Year and a new day!