Saturday, December 31, 2011

Goodbye 2011!

As we say goodbye to 2011, we remember with affection the good times......

~ My sister came for a visit....across the many miles
~ I got to go with my cousin to see the Rose Bowl stadium, where Alabama won their 13th National Championship
~ Nate's family crossed the country to visit, and we got to meet our nephew Bryce for the 1st time
~ I made my first trip home to Alabama in July
~ Cori had her 1st real boyfriend.....and her first real break-up
~ My 1st niece, Alice was born
~ Nate got his Dream job at Blizzard and thus the gaming career has begun
~ Nate and I celebrated 13 years of marriage
~ I graduated college with a Business Degree
~ Cori got her ears pierced
~ Joel dissected a pig's heart at school (which was grey, not pink like he expected...and it smelled Really bad)
~ Cori dissected a cow's eyeball
~ Alabama will play in another National Championship game
~ I learned to knit a hat
~ I read more books then I can count...watched more movies and spend time with Nate and the kids to make memories to last a lifetime.

As with everything there is a time for gladness and laughter, and then a time for sadness and tears....
~ Nate lost an uncle this year
~ Cori lost a friend to suicide and all the questions and fears that go with it
~ I lost my babies, as both my kids are more than a decade old and growing more independent every day

The best things to look at over the last year is the fact the good outweigh the bad. Keep Christ at the center of your life and staying focused on the path in front of you. May the road rise up to meet you and your family and friends support you as you make the journey!

Thanks to all our family and friends and the mountains of prayers, love and support in 2011! Keep em coming in 2012!

Friday, December 30, 2011

3 Day Weekend!

As I sit on the couch and finish up day 1 of my 3 day weekend, I realize it has been a very long time since I have posted to my blog...Let the update begin.

The 1st week of December Nate was given a full-time permanent job at Blizzard, which now gives our family health insurance and Nate vacation/sick time and benefits. YEAH! for us! Thankfully we have not needed the health insurance in the 1 1/2 years out here without it. Nate and I celebrated Christmas with Blizzard employees at California Adventure with dinner and drinks and park rides, and then again with a few co-workers at Scott and Katherine's house. It was fun to have a couple of Christmas parties to attend right before the 2-week insane holiday rush was upon us. Nate is now half way through his Christmas vacation (a paid week off of work and school) and I enjoy my 3 day weekend.

I have been working 6 days a week as either a key-hourly manager or a server, some days I wonder if I am wearing the correct shirt for work. I love working at Maggiano's as a server or manager. They both add fun and adventure to my everyday life. Life in the restaurant business is NEVER boring..... Just a few things I have encountered this holiday season.
~ bare breasted lady feeding her 2-3yr old at the table
~ stood between an upset guest and another party so guest would not ask them to leave the restaurant
~ drunk lady at the bar
~ the longest carry-out line I have EVER seen, we did $33,000 on Christmas Eve in carry-out orders alone
~ many different strangers picking me as the person to hug, and hug and hug
~ sore calves and arms because I can't reach anything in the kitchen
There is more I just can't think of them right now.....

As for Christmas, I worked late on Christmas Eve but came home to Nate and the kids and a very clean house. We rested on Christmas day, opening a ton of presents (thanks to all the family and friends who helped make that possible), more resting and napping (I was exhausted). Talked/skyped with family and rested some more.

Since I have worked so much in December, I was given this weekend as a great 3-day relaxing break. Then life will start back up full force again. I hope to be less busy with life, so I have time to post more blogs about life... Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Opening the 1st present

The 1st of many "zebra print" gifts

My fav, an New Settlers Game!

Nate's 24" monitor to add to his command center (which still keeps  flipping the breaker)

Monday, November 7, 2011

6 Days a Week

Last week started my fun and exciting holiday schedule, which means I will be working longer shifts and 6 shifts a week. I am excited about it because it is so much fun to get in the holiday spirit at work. I started last week with working with a friend of mine, Andrea, on a training class of new servers. Andrea is going on to management and I will be able to take over the training for the server classes. All week I have been working and training new servers.

Nate spent last night finishing up his presentation for Blizzard. This week he will meet with his boss to present why he should become a full time employee with benefits. The end of November Nate will have been with the company for 6 months. Boy does time fly by fast. Please pray for Nate this week as he will give his presentation.

While I have been working longer days, Cori's boyfriend broke up with her. She was upset for the first day or two but now she is moving on. Nate and I are happy because we would rather have a few short term boyfriends instead of one boyfriend for a year or so. All in all we have had a eventful week with boyfriends, jobs, football and colder weather bringing in the Fall season!

Lady Bug and a Ninja

For Halloween this year, Joel was a ninja and Cori was a lady bug. We took Joel trick or treating and we let Cori go with some friends instead of with us. That was hard for me to do but she had fun and that was great!

Nate and I decided to dress up too!
Nate would stand in the street and scare cars that drove by. He also scared quite a few kids while Joel was out trick or treating.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Joel's Science Project

Joel was assigned to make a diagram of a cell. Nate and Joel worked together to pick out computer parts to make the cell. Here is the completed diagram and hoe Joel made it.

Adding the paste to the container

Nate helping

Adding the parts

The microchips 

The finished project

The light bulb is the vacuole. Foil wrapped around the round computer part is the ribosomes around the nucleus. The computer part in the middle is the nucleus. The small black parts are the mitochondria. The blue container is the cell wall. 
I think Joel and Nate did a good job on this project and I hope he gets a good grade. 


This weekend the kids decorated Halloween houses and picked out their costumes to get into the halloween spirit.

Cori decorated a group of houses and Joel decorated a graveyard. They both had fun decorating, eating icing and making everything "spooky".

Getting started

Building the houses

Joel made the cross

The start of Joel's graveyard

Getting serious about the icing procedure

Almost done

All of Cori's houses are UP!

Joel's finished graveyard

Cori's Houses

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sleepover fun

Last weekend, Joel went to a great Reptile party (see previous post), had his first sleepover in CA, and Cori babysat for a friend.

On Saturday, Joel went to a birthday party at a reptile zoo. He then had a friend come over from school. Conner (his friend) was the best house guest I have had in a long time. He maybe said 10 words to us the entire night. Joel and Conner went straight in to Joel's room, played the Wii and watched movies. They only came out for more food and for pigs in a blanket for dinner. They were up early with cereal for breakfast and then we walked him home around 10am. Both Conner and Joel had a blast and asked to do it again sometime.

Nate and I have been spending our Saturday's watching college football. We have also set up characters on WOW that we only play together. Me on the laptop and Nate on his desktop, playing a video game together. We are both having fun spending the time together.

Cori was asked to babysit her friend on Saturday. Taylor is Cori's 8 yr old friend, who lived next door. Taylor's dad asked Cori to babysit for the day while he was at work. Cori had fun playing with her friend and being able to make some money too. I can see her starting to babysit more and more in the next year or so.

We had a fun filled weekend and look forward to another one this weekend too!

Did I mention Alabama is 4-0 and my Dallas Cowboys are 2-1!

Joel's Reptile Party

Joel was invited to a reptile birthday party on Saturday. This is the room that has all the different cages with lots of different reptiles. I quickly dropped Joel off and was coming back in 2 hours to pick him up. When I went to pick up Joel, one of the employees told me I could just go on back thru all the reptile cages to get him. Why couldn't they just page him or something....Did I mention I hate reptiles and bugs and all guy kind of "pets"

So I quickly walk past the Giant White snake named Twinkie..... (she was in her cage when I saw her).
Twinkie and Tim.

I found Joel and we started to leave, and he wanted to show me one special animal....I walked around a corner to see the 2ft tail of some kind of lizard/reptile. As soon as I saw the tail, I made a bee line for the exit. Joel was yelling for me and I left him behind. As I was running/walking to the car with Joel 6 ft behind and Nate even further behind laughing.

I think this was the animal I was running from.

Joel had a great time at the party. He was able to hold a scorpion, tarantula, and a big snake. He was so super excited to be able to have a very "guy" kind of party.

Pictures are pulled from the Reptile Zoo website. Check them out here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

1st Niece Alice!

My sister Dawn had her first child on September 4th. Alice Everett was 3lbs 14oz and 6 weeks early.

Dawn was having some complications with her health during the pregnancy and so she was in the hospital for 3 days getting meds and being monitored before they induced her labor. After Alice was born, Dawn was in the hospital for another week getting more meds and her blood pressure under control. I am so grateful that everyone is now okay and that Alice was able to come home with Dawn and David yesterday!

Alice is doing well and is just a bundle of pink.

Getting a bottle 

getting to wear clothes

Water Leak Saga

On Labor Day weekend, Nate and I found out that we had water leaking into the dryer line under our condo. We called the property manager to have it drained. The guy came on  Thursday to pump out all the water. The reasoning we thought the water was getting into the dryer line was the irrigation water seeping into the line.

I washed/dried all my clothes but when I went to do laundry again on Sunday, the dryer was not working Again! I called again and the plumber came out again to drain the line. Since the dryer line filled back up so fast, that means we have a slab leak. 

On Tuesday, the plumber was Suppose to come by and check out the leak....that didn't happen so on Wednesday he Did find the time to fit me into the schedule. 

All day Wednesday, the plumber worked on the leak. Apparently it was a bad hot water leak under my bath tub. The chlorine in the water is eating away at the copper pipes and thus creating leaks. I was the 6th house in orange county this week. We had no water in the house all day so the kids had to go to the pool house to use the bathroom. I had to go get more water for the dogs at my neighbors house, because they had to stay on the porch all day long. 

The plumber cut out holes in the drywall to re-run the water lines up the wall and over the ceiling, then down the wall in my closet. I had to empty the entire contents of my closet onto my bed in 5 mins. 

Now that the water leak is fixed, I have to wait for the drywall guy to come back in to fix the walls and ceilings. The temperature in my house has gone down 10 degrees since he fixed the leak. I also have less hot spots on my floors. 

Here are some pictures I snuck in while the guy was working in other areas of the house. 
First hole behind the dryer

Hole in my closet

My empty closet


Ceiling holes

The rest of the wall in my dryer

Ceiling hole in my laundry room 
All of my closet on my bed! 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of School ~ Success!

The first day of school was a big success for both of my kids!

Cori was off to school early. She has advisement (homeroom) with her best friend, Chloe. Cori also has a class with her boyfriend, and some other friends in each class. Cori was selected to participate in Honor's English and Pre-Algebra. She has an elective that is Woodworking, (1st semester), Art (2nd semester) and Drama (3rd semester). She loves all of her teachers so far and is still super excited for school.

Joel has two hot chicks for teachers this year. They are both really young and nice. (Joel's words). Cori responded to say she has all really old teachers like 70. Joel had a great 1st day and stayed on task and did not get in trouble. He was able to make a few friends and was really excited to go back to school today.

I know that we will have our share of drama, laughter, tears, homework...etc this year but I am glad to know that the 1st day was a success!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

1st Day of School ~ 2011

The day I look forward to all year long  is finally here! The 1st day of school!

I worked last night so Nate got to be the one to help the kids get everything ready for school. This morning I have gotten up early and started getting both kids off to school.  Cori is off to 7th grade, and did NOT want to be walked to the bus stop or school. Joel is off to 5th grade and I'm walking him to school but he does not want me to stay till school starts and walk him into class. I am so proud of my kids.

On a funnier note, here are some of the conversations I had with the kids this morning.

Cori wakes up to say that she did not get any sleep because she was SO excited.....then Cori starts to dance around the kitchen because she is no longer a 6th grader!

Joel rolls out of bed complaining about being woken up early by Bella...I sent him to take a shower to wake up.He gets dressed and then comes in to complain about NONE of his pants fit.....Really, I bought you 10 new pairs of jeans that ALL fit yesterday. So we went to his room and pulled out a pair (which fit once he put them on).

Next, Joel complained that his new shoes were to big....Seriously Joel! So I sat down and talked with Joel so that he could calm down and relax before starting his day at school. We said a prayer and then the morning seemed to go better.

1st Day of 7th Grade!

New Zebra print backpack sent from Alabama (bc we could not find one anywhere around here)

Close up w/ new earrings!

1st Day of 5th grade! (last year in Elementary School)

With Backpack!
Both of my kids are Representing Alabama with their 1st day of school clothes!