Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week 17

Welcome back and happy Tuesday!  I'm so glad we are coming up on the last week in April.  That means no more high school swim and the younger boys get switched to an earlier swim practice.  We can all be home just after 6:30 instead of past 8:30 pm.  This will make a huge difference.  Plus May is the last full month of school.  Summer break is right around the corner and that is music to my ears.

Here's how our last week went:


Day 110- Monday, 4/20/15
For Justin's NJHS service project this year he and his friend Jack collected clothes to donate to a homeless shelter.  Justin managed to get 3 large bags full by casing the neighborhood and Jack has even more.  They'll drop them off next week.





Day 111- Tuesday, 4/21/15
John needed a good head shot for work since they recently had a company change over and have to redo all their bios.  His branch of Siemen's was bought out by Beckman Coulter and it's been a crazy past few months to make the switch happen.





Day 112- Wednesday, 4/22/15
While the kids swim I hit the gym.  I can't find the time to workout at home anymore so I might as well take advantage of the time I'm stuck at the rec center.  I bought some new shoes and use them to help me spin, row, and step.  Time to shed those extra pounds and firm up for summer.





Day 113- Thursday, 4/23/15
He's finally done with his state ABC book!  It seems like he's been working on it forever and he has.  He started in February slowly working through the letters and then realized he better kick it in gear these past couple weeks.  Up next is the poster which shouldn't take nearly as long--I hope!





Day 114- Friday, 4/24/15
Tyler brought home another art piece.  It's a quilling project that reminds me of a colorful snowflake. I'm just happy he knows what quilling is now.  Currently he is working on a paper mache animal head trophy and chose to do a snake.  That should be interesting.  I wonder if he'll hang it in his room?





Day 115- Saturday, 4/25/15
Look at those clouds.  We actually had a lot of rain overnight but nothing real during the day.  John and I crossed the Tower Bridge to head into the big city for dinner at Il Franaio with Sharon and Richie.  It's been awhile since we've seen them so it was time to catch up, and the food and wine was really good.  It's been even longer since I've eaten here.  We'll have to come back again soon.





Day 116- Sunday, 4/26/15
Today we went to a nice big nursery to find a new tree for the backyard.  The kids enjoyed helping us pick one out.  We settled on a Golden Yellow Chinese Elm of decent size. John was kind enough to get it all set up and planted where our old tree used to be.  Thankfully the ground was nice and soft from a recent rain.




Wait!  One more-

April's Family Photo



This month's family photo had to be outside next to our new tree on this beautiful spring day.  We need to take it again in about 5 years to see how the tree and we have all grown ;0)




Ok!  That's it.  Thanks for stopping by and see you next week in May!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Week 16

Happy Tuesday and welcome back.  I'm beat! Last week was a crazy busy week and I'm still trying to recover from it.  I think this week will be pretty mellow though so hopefully I'll bounce back soon.  It helps that our expected sample collection for work did not happen over the weekend so no lab testing needs to be done.  That was a happy surprise for my Monday.  I so need a break from processing those samples to catch up on other work I've had to set aside and looks like this will be the week that happens.  There are also no swim meets this week and less homework because of standardized testing.  I like the sound of that.  Is it me or does April seem like a real long month?

At any rate, take a look at how we spent our super exhausting week last week:


Day 103- Monday, 4/13/15
Brandon is working hard on his state project.  He has an ABC book he has to create that is due in a couple weeks and is on letter M so almost half way.  Then there is a poster and food item to bring.  Unfortunately, because the standards have changed, his project requires a lot more writing than his brothers had to do for their state project which is slowing things down quite a bit.  Each letter page needs 1-2 written paragraphs.  That is easy for some and not so easy for others, but he's plugging through and will get there.  Oh, and we just found out that on top of this he has a 3 chapter book to write due in 4 weeks on a topic he hates.  Ugh!  Were so ready for school to be done.





Day 104- Tuesday, 4/14/15
This is my breakfast buddy.  I'm up and out the door before anyone else is even out of bed so it's nice to at least have a little company. He's always very attentive and cuddly too following me around until I'm off.  The only problem is weekends.  He doesn't like to sleep in, and I'm the one he wants up with him.






Day 105- Wednesday, 4/15/15
Swim meet #1 for the week.  It was a fun meet against Dixon.  They know a lot of the Dixon swimmers from polo and summer swim which makes the races more exciting.  Tyler's finished up the meet with a relay and then we took off to Natomas to picked up his tux for the big day on Saturday.





Day 106- Thursday, 4/16/15
Justin and Brandon both had dr visits right after school.  It's been a stressful and emotional past couple weeks for Justin with schedule changes at home and school.  All that concern and worry wears a person out, and I think today the exhaustion overcame him.  This child is NOT a napper but crashed in the car on our long ride home from the appointment.  Hopefully he's recharging because he has swim practice in a couple hours.  We have super long days this month, and I can't wait until May when that all ends.





Day 107- Friday, 4/17/15
Swim meet #2 for the week and the last meet of the high school season.  It's an away meet and was such a weird one run in a really strange way.  There was a lot of confusion and somehow Tyler got  put in a heat all by himself to swim the backstroke which is hard to do, but his team rallied and rooted him on in a big way to make the race against himself more fun and exciting.  It was super hot out too but TGIF! Once we got home from the meet I was happy to relax.  I walked the dog to help unwind and then settled in for the night.





Day 108- Saturday, 4/18/15
Here is our handsome boy all ready for Prom.  Tyler and his date, Gabi, looked amazing together.  They went with a big group of friends and had a great time.  Thank you Misty and Danette for taking and sharing pictures.  Once he was off having fun at the big event John and I met friends for a nice steak dinner at Cattlemen's.  It was good to get out and enjoy ourselves.





Day 109- Sunday, 4/19/15
It's a lazy Sunday here.  Tyler didn't get home until 3 am so of course he slept in but not as late as this guy. Brandon loves his "cozy" bed and really enjoys his sleep.  I love the way he says cozy--it's so sweet and so darn cute.  I had to wake him just after 10 am.  Must be nice.  No sleeping in for me.  The kitty alarm woke me early but that's ok because I had 6-8 loads of laundry to get through, grocery shopping, and prep for the start of our next week.  Plus I needed to help Brandon print out more finished pages for his ABC book.  He got through the letter P today.  I did at least get out back for a few minutes to smell the roses which are in full bloom.  These yellow ones are my favorites.




That wraps up our super busy week.  How much longer until summer break?  We're all ready for a slower pace and look forward to some fun travel escapes.  I hear the beach is calling.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Week 15

It's Tuesday again! Welcome back. This next week is crazy busy but mostly in a fun way. Swim practice for the younger ones started last week so that's always an adjustment. It completely changes our schedule and we're trying to get used to that. That first week was really rough, but I'm hoping now that we have it behind us things will fall into place and go smoother. One can hope!

Take a look at our pictures from last week:


Day 96- Monday, 4/6/15
I love these flowers given to us on Easter Sunday by our dinner guests, and I'm hoping they last most of the week.  Swim for the younger kids has started and for this month they have the last practices of the day which means we don't get home until almost 9pm.  Ugh!  The boys are super tired and cranky by then.  I can't wait until May when the times switch and we'll be done by 6pm.  That's much better timing.





Day 97- Tuesday, 4/7/15
Happy Birthday John!  We celebrated by having dinner at Joe's Crab Shack on the river.  Tuesday night was the perfect night to go because there was no wait!  Every time we try to eat here there is at least an hour wait so I guess it was meant to be for John's big day.  We all had a great dinner.






Day 98- Wednesday, 4/8/15
After school I had to run Justin across town to the library for a book we couldn't find on the kindle.  It took awhile but after some help we found what he needed.  Then when we got home I made a point of taking a picture of Bella because yesterday was her birthday too.  This sweet girl is now 6 and look at that drool!  I was holding a cracker to get her attention and she wanted it so bad that she started drooling like crazy.




Day 99- Thursday, 4/9/15
We made a Target run for milk and cereal, and Justin wanted to spend one of his gift cards, but all he came home with was grape Fanta.  This kid cracks me up.  He says he's never seen a real grape one in the stores and just had to have it.  I bet it's refreshing on this warm spring day.





Day 100- Friday, 4/10/15
It was a busy work week.  Yesterday we had another batch of 4-H samples come in, and today I read them out.  You've seen the yellow but we also read the same sample pouches in the dark under UV to check for florescence.  See the lit up squares?  That's an indicator E. coli is present.  I wear that shield to protect my eyes from the light.  Later that afternoon the high school swim team had a meet where I helped time, and Tyler helped count laps for his friend Ryan swimming the 500. It's great to see how the kids cheer each other on.





Day 101- Saturday, 4/11/15
There's John in Texas at MotoGP.  He's been there since Thursday with some of his good friends and comes home late Tuesday night.  Despite some rain on the first day it sounds like they had a great time enjoying the race and all the great Texas food.  Thanks Steve for the picture.






Day 102- Sunday, 4/12/15
Sadly we had a dead tree that needed to be removed from our backyard.  It was one of the biggest trees we had too.  Huge bummer.  They came out today to finish the job and remove the stump so we can plant a new tree.  What an ordeal!  In the process they cut our main drip line and had to rip out a beautiful rose bush.  Ack!  I also hate the clear view of the house behind us now and need to get another tree in the ground soon to cover it up.  On a happier note my Easter tulips opened.  I'm not sure I've ever seen one open.  They sure are pretty--way prettier than that dead tree!




That wraps up another week.  They are flying by fast and furious these days.  Summer will be here before you know it and I can't wait!  See you next Tuesday.


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Week 14

Welcome back and happy Tuesday!  Today is John's birthday.  Happy Birthday babe!  We love you.  We've had a run with Justin, Easter, and now John all in a weeks time.  At least I was home from work to help make it all happen. We had a good spring break.  It was super busy, but we got a lot done and still managed to have some fun.  I just wish we had one more day after Easter to recuperate before heading back to the rat races.  Monday was brutal too.  Today it's raining and raining a lot!  Yay!

Here is how we spent our spring break last week:


Day 89- Monday, 3/30/15
Justin and I could both spend hours in the garden center at Lowe's.  Today we are picking out tomato plants and a chili pepper plant to get started out back for our summer harvest.  The potted flowers grew back from last year which is always nice to see.





Day 90- Tuesday, 3/31/15
Happy Birthday Justin!  He had his party over the weekend but today is the actual day, and since we already did cake a breakfast birthday doughnut was in order ;0)  Then we headed to Davis to visit the Raptor Center.  He's really into owls right now so this was a special treat.  They had many live owls as residents we could visit plus a great learning center.





Day 91- Wednesday, 4/1/15
Here's my favorite April fool.   Brandon was kind enough to hold my monthly marker.  I told him to act more like a fool for the picture, but he didn't want to so I got a sweet smile instead.





Day 92- Thursday, 4/2/15
Tyler worked hard all week but especially yesterday to wrap up his essay and a video for a scholarship deadline related to his medical congress trip back in November.  With that weight lifted off his shoulders he can now truly enjoy his break.  We went into Natomas to get a fittng for his prom tux and then had some lunch together at Chipotle.  Later he had fun spending time with friends.  Freedom feels good!




Day 93- Friday, 4/3/15
Here's some more freedom for another one of my boys.  This morning Justin got his braces off.  This completes phase two and now hopefully he is done for good.  We celebrated by taking in a movie where he could crunch all the popcorn he wanted to crunch, and he said, "It felt awesome!"




Day 94- Saturday, 4/4/15
This was a different type of kit that made for some cool colored eggs with geometric shapes.  The boys had fun dying eggs for our Easter celebration tomorrow.





Day 95- Sunday, 4/5/15
Happy Easter!  It ended up being a cold and overcast day, but we still made the most of it.  We had a great morning together with a yummy brunch and then welcomed the Cepeda family over for a nice ham dinner.  I hope everyone else had a great Easter too.




That ends our spring break.  Thanks for checking in and see you next Tuesday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 13

Here we are on another Tuesday--the last day in March and Justin's birthday :0)  He's happy it's happening while on Spring Break because no school and no karate tonight.  The day is all his.  We can actually do something fun.  I'm just glad March is almost over even though it won't truly feel like it until the end of the week because we still a few deadlines to meet and a lot of moving parts to be aligned.  At least there is an end in sight.  

Here are last week's pictures:


Day 82- Monday, 3/23/15
This crazy boy loves burnt toast.  He'd have it even more burnt if I'd let him, but we don't want the toaster catching fire.  I'm not sure what the deal is, but it's one of his latest obsessions.





Day 83- Tuesday, 3/24/15
We have been receiving samples from our 4-H project on Mondays so we spend all day setting them up for an overnight incubation and then I spend a couples hours on Tuesdays reading them.  We're looking for total coliforms and E. coli.  Let's just say yellow is not good.





Day 84- Wednesday, 3/25/15
Brandon and Bella have been enjoying the super nice weather by heading outside to play in the yard after homework.  Frisbee is a favorite game for both of them.





Day 85- Thursday, 3/26/15
Keeping it real.  I hate the dirty dishes that pile up.  The dishwasher takes care of a lot of them but usually the hardest to clean cannot go in there.  These are the last things I want to deal with at the end of my long days.





Day 86- Friday, 3/27/15
Here we are at the last race in a swim meet before Spring Break can officially start.  Look how beautiful it is out--a little windy but otherwise perfect spring weather.  Go, Tyler, go!  He's the anchorman in this relay race so he has to bring it home.





Day 87- Saturday, 3/28/15
We're having Justin's birthday sleepover party today.  He's super excited to have his friends over and managed to convince his brothers to find somewhere else to stay so he had the house to himself.  He also didn't want me to bake a cake because he wanted a ColdStone ice-cream cake.  Fair enough, but I still got my hands on it to do some customization ;0)   





Day 88- Sunday, 3/29/15
It's Spring Break now, but Tyler still has deadlines to meet.  He was at a friends house doing homework yesterday and is working on an essay due Wednesday today.  Thank goodness he's on top of it and doesn't complain.  I think after Wednesday he can relax a bit and enjoy himself more.



Wait!  One last one--

March's Family Photo




It's been so nice out lately (temps in the mid 80's) that we had to take a picture in our backyard with all the beautiful greenery.  It smelled so good out there too because John had steak and shrimp on the BBQ for dinner. 




That's it for now.  See you in April and thanks for stopping by.