Saturday, July 31, 2010

~ Week of Drama, Up's and Down's, and Life just rushing past ~

When I was living in Alabama, everyone always complained about the traffic on 280..... Here is something to be thankful for.... This is a picture of my drive to work on Monday night. The traffic is 5 lanes in each direction and we are all traveling at about 60-65 miles an hour. This is also one of the smaller freeways in the area.
Monday and Tuesday were following shifts at work. I enjoyed them and will be glad to be on the floor by myself on Thursday night. Wednesday afternoon, I went in to take my server test. I thought the test went well but I did not have all the answers that I should have had.

Thursday was my first night on the floor of the restaurant, by myself. I had a great night. I only had 4 tables with $400 in sales.....the tips off the table were AWESOME! I only had a 3 table section and it was a slow night. I can't wait to get more experience and bigger sections.

Friday, Nate and I were both off work so we took the kids to the beach. We videoed the kids riding their wave-boards and building sandcastles. The water was extra cold and the sun very really came out. I sat in my beach chair ready a book. We had a picnic lunch and also saw a school of dolphins about 15 feet off shore. They swam around us for about 20 mins. Then we came back home and Nate made us Chicken Mar-sole for dinner. Right before dinner I got a call from King's Fish House and I have to retake my server test. So after dinner Nate and I drove up to the restaurant to get the test for me to study. I was up till midnight studying.

Today, I got up early to study for my server test. I had to make a 95 or above in order to stay on at King's Fish House. I studied really hard and took the test at 10am this morning. I think I did a good job on the test. The GM talk to me as I was leaving and told me that he would see me on Sunday. He did not think he would even need to grade the test. He also told me that I had done a really good job on my first shift on the floor, which was Thursday night.

As I was studying this morning, Joel yelled to Cori and told her there was something gross of hers in the hall. It was her bra, I asked Joel why he did not want to go pick it up and he told me it was too disgusting.

After getting home from the test, I have helped both kids hook up video games in their rooms. Cori has the Nintendo 64 and Joel has the Playstation 2. Now the house is very quiet as the kids are each playing quietly in their rooms.

Today is my Mother-in-Law's birthday and my sister-in-law's baby shower. They had the shower this morning for new little baby Bryce Dillard and the party tonight for Mom. We wish we could have been there. I am sure there will be pictures and stories from your fun weekend.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Weddings and Marriage

I have been working on my photo's in photoshop today. This requires that I take a look at a bunch of older family photos. I have done two collage's of our family weddings. 

These weddings range from 1998 when Nate and I got married to last May when Nate's youngest sister Carrie got married. That is 11 years and 11 weddings throughout both families.
Nate's side of the family, siblings, and cousins on their wedding day. 
All but one of these weddings we were able to attend. 

My side of the family, siblings weddings. The kids and I were at all of these weddings. Still waiting on the cousins to start getting married. 

I have been thinking about marriage and wedding today. Whether you are in your teen's, twenty's, or thirties when you get married, you are still young and oblivious to the world around you. Then as the years go by you realize how little you knew back then and how much more you will know and understand in the years to come. Getting married is about a commitment to the other person, till death do us many people now have forgotten that part of the vows. They think it is okay to up and leave, cheat on each other, lie to each other, not communicate with each other, be best friends with other people of the opposite sex, and give up way to easily on the marriage and commitment that they made to each other and to God. 
I am so grateful for the love and commitment that Nate and I have to each other, God and our marriage. 

~ Here are the top 5 Things that I think are important 
for a marriage to survive ~ 
1. God, He has to be #1 in your life, then #1 in your marriage. By placing God in the center of your marriage then He will help you stay faithful and true to Him and your marriage. 
2. Communication ~ This is key, by communicating to each other everything and all your feelings then there is less misunderstandings and less fighting. Guys and Girls are not made the same way and thus do not think and communicate in the same way. Don't beat around the bush when you have something to say. Just say it and mean it. If you don't meant it then don't say it. 
3. Honesty ~ Be completely honest and don't lie. By being honest, don't ask your spouse a question you don't want the honest answer to. 
4. Be Flexible  ~ Things are not always all about you, so you have to be flexible. 
5. Spend Time Together ~ I know this sounds like a funny or weird suggestion to all the newlyweds who can't imagine not going to the grocery store and checking the mail without their spouse. But as time go's on and your family grows, it is harder to find time to be together just the two of you. It is great to have time together when life is not pulling you both in 10 different directions. 

Calling all married people....Am I right? Did I list one of your top 5? Or do you think there are others that should be listed? Let me know your thoughts on marriage and the life after. 

Friday, July 23, 2010

Newest Project ~ Photoshop

Since I appear to have nothing to do and a ton of time on my hands...yeah right. I have picked up a new hobby...Photoshoping my pictures and making cool collages. I love to take pictures and so I am taking my love for photo's one step further and adding them to photoshop.

By using Photoshop I can add different pictures together to make a this one of Cori

Or Make part of the picture in black n white and part in this one from our trip to OKC.

Do a funky background behind us.

This one I made most of the background blank n white and also wrote in the names on the chairs from the Memorial. I like it because then you can read the names on the chairs.

These are just some of the fun things I am learning how to do. There will be more to come and lots more affects to add to the photos.

Best Beach Day Yet!

Today Nate and I were both off work. So we loaded up the towels, ice chest, book (for me), boogie boards for the kids, and sand buckets to go to the beach. The sun finally came out after we were there about 15 mins. We were finally able to enjoy a fun day at the beach in the sun. The kids are learning how to ride the waves on their boogie boards. The water was only about 65 degrees so I did not get in the water. I graciously watched the towels and ice chest and read my book. Nate got out on the boogie boards for a little while and rode a couple of waves and wiped out on a bunch more. The kids also love to play in the sand and dig holes and make casles. Fun was had by all!

A special thanks to people who do not wear age appropriate and weight appropriate clothes to the beach. You were very entertaining to me as I watched you on the beach today.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

~ Moments of 1st ~

Over the last couple of months I have experianced a lot of 1st for me. I want to share those 1st with you. I have broken them down into 2 catagories. The 1st that I love and will do again. The 1st that I hate and (hope n plan) never want to do again.

~ 1st that I have Loved (almost) every minute of the experiance ~
  • Moving out of the South ..... dont get me wrong I loved living there but I am enjoying the new experiances and the new things that come with moving to a new city where you do not know anyone
  • Ran a half-marathon with my family....finished in 3:03. This was an awesome accomplishment that I am very proud of and cant wait to run my next one.
  • Last summer I went White Water Rafting with my family in Tenn. We had a great time and I would love to go rafting again.
  • Renting my first apartment/condo.
  • Seeing the West coast and Pacific ocean....Awesome!
  • Eating King Crab Legs....Yummmmmmm
  • Setting up my family and friends on we can video chat more often
  • Last November Nate took me golfing for the first time....and got me my own set of clubs. (who would of ever thought I would be a casual golfer)
  • Learning how to use Photoshop and creating new pictures
  • Driving on freeways (which are what the south calls interstates) that have 7 lanes in one about an adreniline rush every time you get on the freeway
  • Riding the Ferris Wheel at Santa Monica Pier with Nate
  • Wearing a Tie
~ 1st that I hope to not repeat anytime soon ~
  • Drive across most of the country in 3 days
  • Eating raw oysters
  • Eating sushi
  • Worked my first door-to-door sales job....Not something I want to repeat....still having nightmares about that job
  • Being out of work for 6 weeks.
  • Trying a new church every week....I do not like looking for a new church family
I know this is not all the first, I am sure there will be more to come......Life is all about embracing the new and exciting things while learning from each experiance.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Beaches

We have only been to two beaches out here. Sunset and Huntington. The beaches out here are not the same as the gulf coast beaches. Well even without the oil they are different. We have the actual oil rigs that you can see from the beach. I think it is pretty cool. The beaches here require you to go early and come home early. By 3pm the wind picks up on the beach and the temp drops. So after 5pm, jeans and a jacket are the perfect beach attire.
5 Cool Things About our Beach
1. The water is a lot colder, although I am told it will get warmer. We will see if that is true. Still only made it into the water up to my ankles.
2.The waves are beautiful. The waves are peaceful and lots of fun to watch.
3.The people watching is SO much fun. I know that everyone should wear age/body appropriate clothing to the beach but for the people who don't. I enjoy watching them try to fit in with the crowds and still keep their really little bathing suit in place. If I would rather watch people on the beach then are pretty entertaining.
4. Lifeguards ~ I have always visited the private beaches so watching the lifeguards go in and out and in and out is a lot of fun. It is so like Baywatch.....awe...the memories. Anyway, yesterday we were watching the little junior guards do all their running and excersises on the beach.
5. It is FREE! I am all about free things to do right now. It is free to co sit on the beach and watch my kids play in the ocean, build sandcastles and ride the waves.

Joel and Sushi

On Sunday, which was my last day of "training", the class got to try all of the sushi that we offer. As I am not a fan of raw food, I was not as excited about the food this day as the rest of the class. I did taste a small piece of raw tuna. Not a fan. So I, being the great wife and mother that I am, brought my leftover sushi home to Nate and Joel. I knew Nate would love it and I knew Joel would give it a try.
There are a couple of types of sushi I brought home. There are rolls with only fish inside and the rice on the outside, this is the kind that Joel loved and wanted more of. There were rolls with crab inside and different types of fish on top, like tuna, yellowtail, salmon. These were ones Joel tried but did not like. Then we have the raw fish on a plate, nothing else. I brought home tuna and salmon in this form. Again Nate loved them all and Joel was not a fan. I am very proud of him for trying all of it. We did not even ask Cori because we knew she would not even try it. (wonder where that comes from).
I also brought home cheese tortiline with salmon (cooked) ina white wine sauce. It is very good and both boys loved it.
Working at these two new restaurants has really opened up our food experiance.

We have tried sushi, salmon, tuna, veal, eggplant parmasian, oysters, fish, grilled artichokes, fried calamari, scalops, mussels, ziti, and chicken parmasian (which Nate made from scratch).

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Gross Content Warning

We serve 9 different kinds of oyster everyday.  I have to be able to tell the customer the difference. Today at work, I tried fresh raw oysters for the first time.Our trainer told us not to "shoot" the oysters but to chew them up a little bit before swallowing. By chewing them a little bit, the flavors are released and make the experiance more enjoyable. Out trainer also told us that these oysters are RAW until they hit your stomach. So they are NEVER cooked......Very encouraging. The head chef came out to reinforce our trainer information and to watch us taste them.

So I pick a moderate size oyster (I kow not to get a big one). I add the red wine sause to help cover the oyster taste and count to 10. Everyone keeps looking around to see who is going to try theirs first. I take a huge breath and shove it in my mouth..... After I chewed a couple of times, the taste was released and so did my stomach......I quickly spit out the rest of the oyster into my napkin and drank a lot of coke.

So not a fan of oysters but willing to learn a lot about them to sell to customers.....Sunday I get to try sushi...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

First Training Day at King's Fish House

Today was my first day at King's Fish House. We have three types of uniforms to wear to work. One is a button down shirt, tie, and black pants. The other two are a blue polo and a denim shirt. Depending on which part of the restaurant you are serving in, is which outfit you wear. Now, for the tie issue. Back in the 80's girls were wearing ties loosly, with button down shirts, and bright colors. I begged my Dad to let me wear a tie. I thought they were so "cool". He told me no, that ties were for boys. He was right. Now 15 yrs later, I am wearing a tie to work everyday and not a big fan of it.  Thanks Dad! (love you).

I have to be at work at 8am for training. I was not sure of the traffic so I left an hour early this morning and got there 40 mins early. So no traffic on the 22 at 7am. Good to know for tomorrow. There are 9 people in the training class, 5 for our store and 4 for the Long Beach store. One of the girls from LB wore 3 in heels instead of her non-slip shoes. That was pretty funny to see her walking through the kitchen in the heels. The day went fairly well. We learned new menu items and tasted new food.

I tried fried scalops for the first time, as well as grilled artichokes. I liked the scalops and did not like the artichokes. Tomorrow is oyster, sushi and beer day. We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Funny stories for today

This afternoon Nate and I took the kids to the beach. We have now (after today) learned that the beach gets VERY windy after 4pm so beach time is now from 11am to 3pm. While Nate and I are wrapped in towels watching the fearless kids play in the sand. Cori and Joel both made volcano looking castles with ditches around to protect from the waves. The kids were getting really mad at the water/waves for crashing into their sand castles. It was fun for me to watch.

This past week my mom kept my nephew Lucas for 3 days. This is the first time she has kept him at her house. He usually stays with Aunt Val, Uncle Nate, Cordi (cori) and Joel. I talked to Mom and Lucas each day on skype which was fun. Lucas kept asking when we were going to come over and play. That was hard to answer. Anyway by the 3rd day Lucas understood that we were in California and would tell us where his house was and where our house was.
Look at that Smile!!!!!!

Surprises for Nana, from Lucas.
#1   Mom bought a small plastic pool for Lucas to swim in. She got him all dressed in his swimsuit and the pool all filled up. Lucas went out, got naked and then jumped in the pool....thought it was a giant bathtub. He is 2 1/2 so mom let him keep swimming. She also told him not to pee or poop in her pool. He did not. He got out of the pool and proceded to poop in the patio beside the pool.....not in the pool, what he told her.

#2  Nana gave Lucas 2 poptarts for snack his first day there. Nana did not ask if Lucas ate both poptarts. Nana went to go to bead that night and found a HUGE pile of ants in her bed. Guess where the other poptart went???????

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nate's new Photo Class

Here is the movie poster Nate made for his PhotoShop class. He has been taking this class for 9 weeks. For his final, he had to make a movie poster with 24 pictures and some in black n white and some in color. This is a really cool poster that he made. The pictures are ones we took while in Texas at Amy and Tyson's wedding weekend. Most all of the family was able to make the drive for the wedding and we all had a great time.

Weekend Fun!

Friday morning  the kids and I did a photoshoot in our front yard....with the rocks and creek that flows thru the walkways and buildings. It was a lot of fun with lots of smiles and laughter.

Saturday was a day of fun, shopping, checking out the 2 story Target at the mall, washing the car, and letting the kids go to movie night at the neighbors. They watched "The Spy next Door" and said it was really funny. Cori and her friend Taylor, set up the seating, made snacks, tickets, and door prizes for the group.

Sunday we went to Calvery Chapel in Costa Mesa for the first time. The building was nice and big with rows of chaoisr outside in case you want to enjoy the weather while listening to the sermon. The music was not our style of worship. We prefer more upbeat music at a faster pace. They only had a guitar that was not very loud so the music was more accupela. The sermon was okay, again just not our style of preaching. We will continue to look for a church we fit into as the weeks go by.

Sunday, I also went to orientation for my job. I start the traiing program on Wednesday. I am going to have a lot to learn but I think I am going to love working there. We have 3 different uniforms depending on the part of the restaurant we are serving in.

Today is Nate's last day of training. He is already loving his new job and the food. He was able to try at least 10 dishes a day until he had tried the entire menu. He brought a couple of the dishes home and the rest of us got to try them out. They were really good.

Today I had to drag the sewing machine out of the garage and get to work. I have pants to hem, an apron to hem (b/c it hits the floor instead of mid-calf), 2 shirts to make button holes and buttons for the collar, land earn to tie a tie.

Friday, July 9, 2010

New Friend Friday!

This is my New Friend Friday post from The Girl Creative. Visti your friends this Friday and have some fun reading other blogs. New Friend Friday  
New Friend Fridays

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Sewing Saga

I started sewing when Cori was 2 1/2. I wanted to make her fun print dresses and outfits. I also thought that I needed a new hobby because a 6 month old, a 2 year old and working was not enought for me. So my mom taught me how to read a pattern and thread my bobbin and I was off on my sewing adventure. I bought a new sewing machine after about a week of using my moms. I wanted to make sure I liked the whole sewing thing before I bought my own machine. (which Nate immediatly wanted to take apart to see how it works - he didnt) I made all kinds of outfits with funky patterns, even made the dress Cori wore in my brothers wedding.

After all the sewing of clothes, I needed a bigger challange. Cori was getting tired of my "hand-made" clothes and everyone kept having boys so there were no cute little girls to make clothes for. So I started branching out into quilts and blankets. I Love To Quilt. It is more fun than sewing clothes but it takes longer. I made quilts for just about everyone in the family. I have not done any sewing in about 6 months. I have been so busy with planning to move, moving and getting life going in CA that sewing has not been on my mind. So right now the sewing machine is packed away waiting for me to have the "time" to sew again.

Then I had my mom teach me how to knit. I have been working on a couple of blankets and scarves. I love the convienence of knitting. I can take it with me to people's house and I can knitt while we talk and socialize. I can also knit in the living room while watching tv and Nate does not get mad.

All of this background to tell you I have NEVER hemmed a pair of pants. I always used the sewing machine. I made little kids clothes and they dont care about the "proper hem." Nate came home from work with the hem ripped out of one of his pants leg. So I got the needle and thread and took a shot at correctly hemming his pants. I DID IT! I did a decent job for my first hem and he was very grateful.

This one I made for my sister-in-law, Carrie.

This is the one I made for my Mother-In-Law, for the guest bedroom.
This is the one I made for my Mom. She loves Blue.

This is a baby blanket I made for a friend.

This one I made for my sister, Christie.

This is another baby blanket, for my friend Allyson.
This is by far my favorite and my hardest to make. It is one I am going to hang on a wall someday.
The pieces are from 1in. to 1/4 in. in size. This took some serious sewing to accomplish.
I have a pattern for do another one simular to this and can't wait to find the time and money to make it. Fabric is not cheap, in case you were wondering.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finding lost toys

As most people who know my family, Joel loves his Nintendo DS and his games. About a year ago, Joel lost one of his cases with 3 games in it. We looked everywhere, church, school, Nana's house, Grandma's house. We called friends and family because none of us could figure where he could of lost it. So we just knew the games were gone.

Today almost a year later, Joel found these games. The case with 3 games was stuck in the side of the recliner. The recliner does not come apart and the case never fell out during the move and everything. Joel was just sitting in the chair and reached down the inside, side and found it. He is so excited.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Books! Books! and more Books!

I have read about 7-8 books since the first of June. I have read 3 of those this last week. My mom asked what I was reading to help her find some new books. So here are some suggestions......

Top 5 Authors of Christian Fiction
Robin Jones Gunn (she has teenage books, love stories and chick lit books.)
Dee Henderson (she wrote the best series ever about 6 adopted siblings and each book follows specific sibling, while keeping you informed about the rest of the family, The O'Malley Series)
Lori Wick (anything you pick up of hers you will love)
Mindy Starnes Clark ( she has a great mystery series as well as a fun chick lit series)
Susan May Warren (she has about 5 different series, from mystery, Russian systery, western, PI's and more)

Top Non Christian Author of Fiction
I only have two because I don't read a lot of non-Christian books.
James Patterson (he has a lot of great books....Start with his Women's Murder Club, then move to his Alex Cross series....which 2 of becamse movies.... Along came a spider and Kiss the girls)
Iris Johansen (I love her Eve Duncan series, about a forensic skull recreater who is helping others because her daughter was kidnapped and never found)

Top 10 random books to read (some I have read and some are on my shelf to read)
Sixteen Brides by Stephanie Grace Whitson
Predator by Terri Blackstock
Never Look Back by Kathy Herman
Wildflower Bride by Mary Connealy (there are 2 before this one in the series)
Breach of Trust by Diann Mills
Hannah Grace by Sharlene MacLaren
The 9th Judgement by James Patterson
Fools Rush In by Janice Thompson
Beverly Lewis (Amish series)
Only in Gooding Series by Cathy Marie Hake

I have planty more books and authors to recommend but these are just a few to keep me and you busy for the summer. Enjoy your reading list!

Celebrating the 4th

Last night the kids had a couple of friends over to watch movies for a couple of hours. There was kool-aid and popcorn, and watching of the Percy Jackson movie and the Pokemon movie(or one of many that Joel ownes, he told me he would have to pick out the best one fore movie night). They both made movie and drink tickets for their friends, which they "used" when they got to the "movie".

Nate, the kids and I went to the Huntington Beach Parade this morning. They say it is the biggest one west of the Mississippi. There were about half a million people at the parade today. It was a fun parade with horses, bands, dropped flags, and tons of waying american flags. The kids were bored after an hour, while we stayed for the duration of 2 hours.

Then we had lunch of sandwiches and hit the pool. 2.5 hrs at the pool, watching the kids swim, play volleyball, and dive. Now everyone is sitting around relaxing. We may go back out to watch the fireworks off the pier. The kids want to go but the adults are tired and want to stay home.

Happy Birthday to my Aunt Dawn and Happy Anniversary to my sister Dawn and her husband David.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Husbands as Best Friends

The movie "My Best Friends Wedding" came out in 1997, before I was married. I love Julia Roberts and was very upset at the end of the movie when the guy picks his bride over Julia Roberts (the best friend). As I sit here watching the movie 13 years later, I completely understand the choice he made. He was in love, and she was the best friend....They would always be great friends but their relationship would change as he was now married and needed to put his wife first.

I look at my marriage and am thankful to have married my best friend. Over the past 11 years, our marriage has become stronger as we lean on God first and each other second. Communication is key to making a marriage work. The husband and wife need to communicate with each other and not have secrets, lies or withhold info from each other.

I thank God every day for by husband and best friend.....Nate!

I got a Job!

The Lord answers our prayers in His time not ours. I applied for many jobs, sent out a ton of resumes, and went on quite a few interviews. Now God has opened the door to a great serving job at King's Fish House in Anahiem. The restaurant is about 6 blocks from Disney, 2 blocks from Anaheim Angels Stadium and the Honda Center (where the Ducks play hockey). So this is a very busy restaurant. I start on Monday July 12th, so I have a week to play with the kids, lay by the pool and read. I am looking forward to this "vacation" because I am not stressed about finding a job, going to interviews and feeling guilty for being at the pool.

This does not solve all our problems....we still have to live until Nate and I get through training and start making money. Pray that our finances hold out till then.