Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Week 39

Welcome back and happy Tuesday!  When is the next 3-day weekend?  I can sure use another one really soon.  I could also use some cooler temps. We're pushing triple digits again so we lost that fall feeling we were enjoying last week.  Thankfully things should cool back down by the end of the week so at least we'll have a pleasant weekend.  I'm so ready for fall and also ready to bust out my pumpkin collection and start decorating. October 1st is coming up and that will be the day :0)

For now take a peek at last week's pictures:

Day 263- Monday, 9/19/16
Speaking of pumpkins, here is my orange kitty ready to pounce.  Our stairs are one of his favorite places to be. 

Day 264- Tuesday, 9/20/16
This is how we spent our day--Bella and I looking after Brandon as he suffered through a migraine that sent him home from school and knocked him off his feet.  This dog stayed by his side for over 4 hours until he finally started to feel better.  She hates to see one of her peeps down and out, and he was grateful for the support.

Day 265- Wednesday, 9/21/16
It's time for the new Survivor season and it feels weird not watching with Tyler.  He's watched every season with us since he was a baby and sadly we'll probably never get to watch with him again :0(

Day 266- Thursday, 9/22/16
Brandon is trying to finish this book tonight so he can take his reading counts test tomorrow.  He's working his way through the last 4 books in the Lemony Snicket's series before he'll have to find another series to get him through the rest of the year.

Day 267- Friday, 9/23/16
Happy Birthday Tyler!  Our oldest turns 18 today.  This picture was taken when we celebrated early just before he left, and today he received the cake on the right through the Bear Hugs student care-package program.  It's a brownie cake, and he said it was really good but not as good as mine.  Good answer! ;0)  We miss him and hate not being able to give him a birthday hug but did get to talk to him on the phone.  Everyone, even his brothers, had a few minutes with him.  He sounds good and is ready for classes to start because he's bored with all the downtime.  It's so bad he's even looking for a job.  LOL!  Next week will be different.  Dead week will be over and classes will be in full force.  He's so ready!

Day 268- Saturday, 9/24/16
Early today Justin had a doctor's visit and then he and I hit Starbucks after for a treat.  It's nice to have some one-on-one time with him.  He knows how to crack me up.  Later Tyler was excited to be attending his first home college game at the Rose Bowl and even sent us a picture.  Yay!  I'm happy to see his smiley face.  He has a "Den Pass" which gives him access to all home games for all sports.  He loved every minute of the experience even though UCLA lost in the last couple minutes of the game.  Sadly it's the 9th straight year they've lost to Stanford and they were hoping to break that streak this year.  They were so close too, but it all just fell apart literally at the very end.  Next year!

Day 269- Sunday, 9/25/16
I'm keeping myself busy and trying new things to distract me from over thinking about what and how my oldest is doing.  These stress-relieving coloring sheets are just what I need and perfect for a football widow on Sundays.  I've always loved to color and am happy that these detailed, patterned, coloring books are popular and can be found everywhere now. It can be intimidating to get started on each page, but once you start and find a rhythm it just flows and takes on a life of it's own.

That's it! See you next week in October.

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 256- 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 257- 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 258- 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 259- 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 260- 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 261- 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 262- 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 249- 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 250- 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 251- 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 252- 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 253- 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 254- 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 255- 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 242- 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 243- 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 244- 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 245- 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 246- 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 247- 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 248- 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.