Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Week 38

Welcome back and happy Tuesday!  It seems like we are always adjusting to a "new normal" here.  This time it's home-life without Tyler.  I suppose as time goes on it will become more natural. He is keeping in touch so far which is great, but I'm sure that will change quite a bit once classes start.  We'll just have to take what we can get for now and really grill him when he's home for Thanksgiving break ;0)

Until then here's a look at last week's pictures which include him settling into his new home away from home:

Day 255- Monday, 9/12/16
We found some dragon fruit at Nugget and Justin has been wanting to try it so I picked one up yesterday and we cut into it today.  The inside looks just as interesting and surprising as the outside, and I wish I could say it tastes as amazing as it looks, but sadly, it really has no flavor at all--very disappointing and underwhelming.  Bummer!

Day 256- Tuesday, 9/13/16
And now he's ready to tackle those college courses.  His new laptop is finally here.  It's an early and much needed birthday present since his high-school laptop was running super slow and acting glitchy.  This should do the trick.

Day 257- Wednesday, 9/14/16
Bella gets fed at 5pm and Brandon is the one who feeds her.  She knows when it's time and she knows who she needs to bug to get her dinner at that time.  She's also very attentive until that bowl hits the ground and then *snap* it's all gone in a micro second.  No joke!

Day 258- Thursday, 9/15/16
We're loaded up and ready to go.  Tyler and I hit the road this morning traveling almost 400 miles due south.  UCLA or bust!  John stayed home with the younger boys who have school so it was just the two of us.  Today was simply a travel day, but we did hit up the bookstore and a few places in Westwood once we got there.  Tyler enjoyed his first Fat Burger (an LA original) for diner and then of course we had Diddy Riese for dessert.  Tomorrow the real fun begins.

Day 259- Friday, 9/16/16
It's Move-in Day!  Tyler's in Hedrick Hall on the 5th floor, and we got to meet at least one of his roommates who seems to be a good fit.  He likes to play basketball for fun and swam in high school plus he's an engineering student so you know he'll have a heavy work load and will need to study a lot like Tyler.  The hills and stairs on this campus are insane!  He'll have now problem staying in shape.  We got his room all set up, took care for a few logistical things, and then made one last stop at the bookstore before or final goodbye.  He's super excited and a little nervous, but also very happy and so ready for this experience.  I can feel in my heart and see on his face that this is the absolute best place for him which made it so much easier to leave.  Good luck kiddo!  I know you'll do us proud.

Day 260- Saturday, 9/17/16
Time to head home.  It's going to be a long and lonely drive, but I got this!  It feels weird leaving without Tyler, but we'll see him in a couple months so that's not so bad.  His floor had dinner together last night, he caught a water polo game, and is planning to play basketball today and attend a football watch party tonight.  It's nice to hear he's putting himself out there, enjoying what the school has to offer, and soaking it all in.  Me, I should be home in about 6-7 hrs.  I can't wait to see the rest of my family and sleep in my own bed.

Day 261- Sunday, 9/18/16
Home sweet home!  While Tyler is away I'll keep my mind occupied and busy raising and enjoying these two.  They'll have no problems keeping me busy, I'm sure.  This morning we had a big pancake brunch together as I told them all about Tyler's new digs and the fun things he gets to do this week before classes start on Thursday.  We also joked about how much food was left over and how they didn't have to fight Tyler for more.  Yep--I'm going to have to adjust my cooking portions.

Wait!  There is one more:

September's Family Photo

We  had to get this one in before Tyler left.  This was our last night together on Wednesday after dinner and just before the sunset.  It will be strange not having him in the October family photo but we'll get him in Nov, Dec and even early Jan.  He may have moved out but he hasn't totally escaped my picture taking.  Haha--I'll get him when I can.

Ok--now I'm done.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Week 37

Hi all and welcome back.  It's Tuesday and feeling like fall here--brrr!  There's also a lot going on with prepping to get the oldest moved.  We leave Thursday for LA and I think we're pretty much ready.  He just has to wash and pack all his clothes.  It should make for an interesting end to our week.

Until then, here are last week's pictures:

Day 248- Monday, 9/5/16
Happy Labor Day!  John grilled us some burgers and dogs for a nice family dinner.  During the summer this is our go-to Sunday meal that we never tire of, and today we get to enjoy it on a Monday.  Yum!  3-day weekends are the best.

Day 249- Tuesday, 9/6/16
It's back to Karate for Brandon.  They had a nice long break all of August.  This will be the last few months too since the couple running the class will be shutting it down after the new year.  It's sad but also means we'll finally have our final black belt very soon which is exciting.  We're all ready to be done.

Day 250- Wednesday, 9/7/16
It's close to bedtime and Justin has 2 books he's reading now for English Honors.  This is the one he likes, The Piano Lesson, and the other he hates, The Awakening. At least he likes one of them and I'm happy to see him reading again.  He's never been one to read for fun.  Meanwhile on the bottom bunk Brandon is goofing around while getting ready for bed. His reading is already done.  Nighty-nite!

Day 251- Thursday, 9/8/16
Today at work I'm reacquainting myself with IMS (immuno-magnetic separation).  I used to run this procedure a lot a long time ago and now that the expert has retired it's time for me to become the new expert.  It's actually pretty easy and a cool technique so I'm happy to take it on again.

Day 252- Friday, 9/9/16
TGIF!  It seemed like a really long week.  The best way to unwind is with a nice long walk around the neighborhood with my favorite side-kick.  We are seeing more and more signs of fall with lots of dropped leaves and feeling a coolness in the air.  It's a bit early for us but I'm ready for fall.

Day 253- Saturday, 9/10/16
The younger boys and I hit up In-N-Out while Tyler and John enjoyed sushi with friends.  That boy can demolish a sushi plate in nothing flat.  Personally, I'm not a fan so I'll stick to my burger and shake.  

Day 254- Sunday, 9/11/16
Today was a busy day, but we all found time to reflect on the significance of 9/11.  The flag memorial our city puts out each year is a great tribute.  On a happier note the Sacramento UCLA Alumni threw a nice Bruin send-off party for the local incoming freshmen.  It was at a beautiful house and property on the river and was a great way to connect with other students attending UCLA from our area.  We continued the party at home with the Cepeda family to not only celebrate the send off but also Tyler's 18th birthday.  18 people!!!  This is the last weekend he'll be home and he turns 18 a week after he leaves so we had to celebrate now especially since he loves my cakes so much ;0)  It's going to be so weird not having him here on his actual birthday.

That's it for now.  Check back next week to see how dropping Tyler off at UCLA went.  I'll be taking him by myself since John needs to stay with the younger two who have school.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week 36

These Tuesdays after a holiday always sneak up on me but hey it's already Tuesday which means a short work week.  I hope everyone had a good long weekend and enjoyed their Labor Day. It sure was a welcomed treat here.  We got a lot of stuff done, watched the start of college football, BBQ'd some ribs and burgers, went out with friends and also found some time to just relax.  We sure could use more 3-day weekends -- like every weekend would do!

Here's a look at last week's pictures:

Day 241- Monday, 8/29/16
Best way to end a Monday--playing around with your pup.  Brandon and Bella are resting after a good game of fetch.  That green octopus is still her favorite thing to chase and in my opinion it's the best dog toy ever because it's stood the test of time.

Day 242- Tuesday, 8/30/16
What?!  He's grilling on a Tuesday?  That's perfect--dinner is served and I didn't have to make it.  The chicken was yummy too and there are leftovers.  Score!

Day 243- Wednesday, 8/31/16
Time for another back-to-school night at Brandon's school this time.  I usually miss this one because it's the same night as the high school's but this year they moved it to a different week. What a concept!  I'm glad I could go too because there are a lot of new teachers I wanted to meet and a lot of changes happening with the way they all teach.  Google classrooms and chrome books are in the works.

Day 244- Thursday, 9/1/16
Happy September ;0)  This is Tyler's month and a big one for him.  He'll be leaving the nest and making a new home at UCLA in exactly 2 weeks and then the following week he turns 18.  We're super excited for him and this new phase in his life.

Day 245- Friday, 9/2/16
Great starts and great endings--that's what today was all about.  TGIF!  The barista at our university coffee place was spreading the love with her cheerful doodles on our cups this morning.  Nadira, my coffee buddy, and I enjoyed the effort.  Then after 3 exams and a super stressful day, Justin was happy to end his week by enjoying a new unlocked level in his game.  He said it ALMOST made up for his trying day.  Plus it's the start of a 3-day weekend so you can't beat that.

Day 246- Saturday, 9/3/16
It was a really pleasant weather day so Brandon and I took the dog for a long, early walk that we all enjoyed.  Later Tyler was happy to take a seat on the floor and relax with her after work.  He had a split shift at the pool today which always makes for a long day.  There was also a private party to clean up after so he ended up working later than expected which made him grumpy because he knew ribs were waiting at home for dinner and he just wanted to get out of there.  LOL!  The yummy ribs and relaxing dog helped his mood considerably.

Day 247- Sunday, 9/4/16
We still have an extra day left in our weekend which means we can enjoy a late night out with friends.  We met up with the Wong's in Rocklin for a little wine tasting, then sampled a flight of beer at a new brewery, and topped it off with a drink in the bar at Topgolf.  We'll have to come back to the golf place and rent a bay with the kids to play.  It looks fun.

Ok that's it!  See you next week.  The last full week my oldest will be home.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 35

Welcome back to Tuesday!  It's actually starting to feel like fall here with crisp mornings, cool evenings, and even some dropped leaves which seems odd in August but is a welcomed change.  I wish we could have the fall weather but with a summer care-free schedule.  Last week's full week of school was a bit rough and a little too much. We're all hoping for an easier week with maybe less homework.

Here are last week's pictures:

Day 234- Monday, 8/22/16
Happy Anniversary to us!  24 years and still going strong.  I brought home Dos Coyotes and John made margaritas to celebrate. We did the fancy dinner and a movie out thing over the weekend so this was perfect especially for a Monday.

Day 235- Tuesday, 8/23/16
Last week was a short week in school with very little homework but this week the kids are getting slammed.  Justin worked into the wee hours of the night and was pretty stressed not just tonight but most of the week.  Goodnight kiddo and good luck.  Turn out the lights when your done.

Day 236- Wednesday, 8/24/16
While the kids are learning new things at school I'm learning new things at work.  I just learned how to do membrane filtration on environmental samples to detect our organisms.  Pretty cool!  I'm always happy to learn new things at the bench because it keeps me away from computer and paper work.  Later that evening was back-to-school night at the high school.  It was nice just having one kid to focus on for a change, and the middle school finally scheduled their night on a different date this year.

Day 237- Thursday, 8/25/16
And more homework!  The kids are hating the homework load this week but at least Brandon has had a pretty good attitude.  He likes it when there are things to draw.  English vocab flashcards--not so much!

Day 238- Friday, 8/26/16
Apparently it's National Dog Day so we all took turns honoring our Bella girl. The boys were super excited for her.

Day 239- Saturday, 8/27/16
Off to work but first he must tank up on milk.  We're going to save so much money on milk when he leaves for school in a few weeks.  Right now we, no joke, go through 6 gallons a week.  I'm thinking we can cut that in 1/2 once he leaves.  We'll see.

Day 240- Sunday, 8/28/16
Time for a cat nap.  This is where you can find Rusty most afternoons.  He used to take his afternoon naps behind the couch but lately has decided his post by the window is a better place--maybe because it's cooler out now and he's seeking the sun and a soft, warm blanket.  Who knows? but he looks so sweet and peaceful.  It must be nice to enjoy an afternoon nap.  Me, I'm finishing up weekly laundry and heading out to a meeting so yeah, I'm a little jealous.

That's pretty much it for now.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Week 34

Welcome to another Tuesday! I'm happy to have that first week back to school out of the way, and feel like the new routine is settling in ok.  Tyler is enjoying not have to be in school just yet while he watches his brothers deal.  Lucky bum--no work during mid-week either for him so at least he got to spend some fun time with his friends especially before one left for school Sunday.  It's been fun this past week seeing those kids on the semester system move into their dorms.  Quarter system kids, you're next!

Here's a look at last week:

Day 227- Monday, 8/15/16
One new Lightsaber wasn't enough. He used some birthday gift cards to buy another of a different color.  This will make his last couple days of summer all the better.

Day 228- Tuesday, 8/16/16
Tyler's summer weekday job at the pool is pretty much over.  For the next few weeks it's only weekends so he naps.  LOL!  I never see him nap.  At least he woke in time to join us for our last day of summer shakes at Whitey's.  They have the best shakes in town with the best flavors.  So long summer break!

Day 229- Wednesday, 8/17/16
It's the first day of the new school year for these two.  Brandon is now in 7th grade and Justin is in 10th.  It feels weird not having Tyler join them.  He still has another month before we ship him off to UCLA.  Good luck boys!

Day 230- Thursday, 8/18/16
This was not the best start to my day--blowing a tire on my way to work--but I survived and now have 4 brand new tires.  Thank goodness for cell phones and AAA!  Speaking of cell phones, later after school, Justin worked on adding his new classes to the remind app.  Technology!  How did we survive back in the day?

Day 231- Friday, 8/19/16
TGIF!  We're still watching the Olympics here which are almost over.  Today the women's water polo team made history bringing home the gold for a second Olympics in a row and dedicated the medals to their coach who suffered a family tragedy just before the games started.  Way to go ladies and cheers to the weekend!  What a super long and overly eventful week. My favorite bartender hooked me up with a yummy lemon drop to kick the weekend off right.

Day 232- Saturday, 8/20/16
It's date night.  We went to Old Sacramento for a nice dinner at Rio City Cafe on the river--just the two us.

Day 233- Sunday, 8/21/16
John spent most the day (actually most the weekend) building a solid fort for the dog's pen in the garage.  The crazy girl has still been getting out with just small fixes here and there so now it's time to get real.  After he finished we went to see a movie.  Jason Bourne was still playing and we had one free movie ticket so score! The best part though was seeing that the dog did not escape while we were gone--she tried but it didn't happen.  Let's hope that holds true for good.

Alright, I'm done for now. Check back next week for more craziness.  Actually, I hope not.  I can use a boring week or two.