Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Welcome to Blizzard!

10ft Statue in the courtyard
Nate just finished his first day at Blizzard Entertainment. He has been posting pictures all day on Facebook. He is resting on the couch telling me all about his day. He got a notepad and t-shirt that say Blizzard. They offer on-site seminars and encourage in-house promotions. They have a 24-hour fitness gym, games rooms, caffereria and World of Warcraft stuff everywhere. Nate was given a goodies bag with all the games that Blizzard makes. He also gets 5 free memberships and some other free upgrades each year (like armor). Nate will get a huge discount on any and all things Blizzard from now on. He is in training for two weeks. The first week is training on a tester level and the second week will be more detailed about his specific job. They have about 35 people in this training class. Nate is one of the few that will be performing a more technical and programming based testing job. He is loving his job already!

Wall murals everywhere

Customer Service Area

ALL the FREE games Nate got in his package! 

On a side note, The game from InXile that Nate worked on for 6 months, came out today! Check out Nate's first game as a tester! The interview with Brian Fargo is the owner of the company and who's house we went to for Christmas!

1 Year! We made it a Year!

May 2010 (a week before we left)

Memorial Day Weekend 2010
We packed and moved 2,000 miles to 

April 2011 (a month ago)

Memorial Day Weekend 2011
We made it a year......

Wow! it is a lot to take in when you think about all that has happened in the last year. I am amazed, grateful, and in awe of the way God has blessed our family over this last year. It is a very humbling experience to know that your only safety net is the Hand of God. He has blessed us in so many ways from paying the bills, providing jobs, electricity, great friends and the strength to endure.

I went for a walk today all the way to the beach. I am not is as good of shape as I would like to think. As I was standing on the beach I was so thankful of all that has happened to us this year. As I walked back home, Amazing Grace came on the ipod.......enough said.

Today, Nate starts his first day at Blizzard Entertainment. This company is a dream job for him and I can't wait to hear all about it tonight.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cori's Open House

Wednesday night was the last of the trips to the schools for the year....I hope! We went to Cori's Open House at school. We got to meet her teacher (yes, I know....I did not meet her till the end of the year). I just never have a reason to go to Cori's school and meet the teacher. So Cori took us through her classes. Nate did not understand the schedule and the rotation of classes and kept giving Cori a hard time about all the teachers.
In her Homeroom

Showing us her work for the year

Her Spanish Self
Cori's self portrait 

Math art
She did not get a 100 on this paper

Fussing at Nate for embarrassing her

Showing Nate how the project works

In the locker-room 
Taking us to the gym and the girls locker room

Nate waiting outside

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Joel's Update

Here are some pictures from Joel's Open House last Wednesday night.

This is his math project
The picture is of a ninja's climbing up a China Palace.

This is a picture of Joel and his camera. On the camera, is a picture from the beginning of the school year. Under the lens is a list of his 4th grade goals. Which he met all of.

Joel was a wanted criminal for robbing Nate the fast and furious. His reward is over 1 million dollars.

I caught the Wanted Man! 

Tuesday @ the Barber's

Eating a Funnel Cake at the Street-Fair
Nate is cooking dinner and my job is to watch and keep him company in the kitchen. I am taking that time to write about this week at our house. We just got back from the street-fair in Huntington. When Nate's family was visiting last month, we found out that there is a street-fair every Tuesday night. They close down Main street and have vender's for a couple of blocks which includes a fresh market. We got some strawberry's, apples, salsa n chips, squash and sweet potatoes. We are going to make this a regular weekly trip to get fresh produce.
Nate cooking

Joel's Bamboo

Joel found a bamboo plant to buy with his money. He wanted a plant for his room, that he could take care of. He picked out this cute little guy for his room.

Nate enjoying the off-key singing
This morning we went to Joel's spring concert. As all things in southern Cali, we were outside for this concert. The 4th graders sang 4 songs and then we left before listening to the 5th grades. At least when you are at an outside concert on the blacktop, you can leave before the concert is over. All 4 songs were sung off key and out of sync but the kids looked to be having fun.

Joel is one of the kids in red....good luck finding him!
After the concert,
Joel was so happy we were there. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Week of Great News

This week is not over yet but we already have had an onslaught of good news.

On Monday morning, I woke up late....to a voice mail from my sister Dawn. After talking to her, I found out the sex of her baby due in October!
She is having a GIRL! I will be getting my 1st niece, Alice Everett.
Great news for me, not so great for Cori who will be losing the title of ONLY GRANDDAUGHTER!

Monday was Nate's birthday. We spend the morning together grocery shopping and sharing Cosco hot dogs for lunch. We were getting ready for work in the evening when Nate got the most important call of the year! Blizzard Entertainment was calling to offer him a position. Nate has been through the phone interview and face-to-face interview a couple of weeks ago and has been waiting for this phone call. After updating facebook and calling family, we went to work. I surprised Nate with carrot-cake cupcakes with cream cheese icing. My friend Samantha made them in a pirate theme for Nate. We all sang and made a BIG deal out of his birthday!

On Tuesday morning, Nate received his official Blizzard packet via Fedex. He, of course, signed and sent everything in immediately. He starts work on May 31st. which is right at a year since we moved out here for him to follow his dreams. I have never been more proud of all the things Nate has accomplished. I can't wait to get some Blizzard swag.

On Tuesday afternoon, we took Joel to get a scooter he has been saving for and some new shoes. We spend the afternoon with Joel, which he really needed.

Wednesday night was Open House at Joel's school. We walked over and got to see a bunch of the projects he has worked on over the school year. Joel has learned how to make a powerpoint presentation, use Word and make graphs in Word. Since we changed up some of Joel's (and our) habits during the week, he is doing much better in school. Only 4 more weeks of school for the kids!

Today, Cori will go on her 2nd audition ever --- this is for a commercial airing in Japan. Hope it goes well.

New Jobs! New Hobbies and Experiences! Great Grades! It has been a very eventful and fun week at our house.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cori's New Venture ~ Acting!

Our next door neighbor has been a child actor for over a year now and loves it. He has talked about it with Cori on a number of occasions. His mom and I have also talked about how good Cori would be at acting/modeling. Nate, Cori and I talked about this and it IS something she wants to pursue. We say why not? Nate and I are out in California trying to live out our dreams, let Cori have a shot at hers.

                    On Wednesday April 27th, my friend and I took Cori to get her professional head shots taken. Cori had a great time getting her picture taken and the photo's are beautiful. She got to change into 4 different outfits. The place where the photographer lives and shoots is in the mountains and he has a beautiful cottage on the cliffs. We got to take the pictures home on a cd and I went through them that night. The photographer color corrected the photos and got them back to me by Sunday. I uploaded them to the actors websites on Sunday night. I submitted Cori for a few auditions on Monday and on Tuesday she got an audition notice.

Let me back up and tell you how this works. We do not have a manager or agent so I just self-submit Cori on projects that she fits the bill on. I get an email when something comes in that she is the right age for. Then if the casting company likes you, you get an email for the audition. You go to the audition and so on.

Cori went on her Audition on Thursday May 5th (one week after taking her head shots). She did a great job at the audition and on Friday morning we got a call she was "on hold". This means they have narrowed down the actors and she is on the short list. They also check to make sure she is open for the shoot dates. I am learning already that things move very fast in this industry. On Wednesday May 11th, we got the call that Cori was chosen for the part. It is a non speaking part but a part none the less. All of this took place in less than a month.

We went today for the shoot. Cori was great and had a lot of fun. I can't give out info on the project at this time but once I have something to say, I will share it with you. Cori did get to shoot on a green screen and meet some other child actors on set. She also got to have her hair and makeup done.

Here is a couple of pictures before and after the shoot....that I can show you.

In the car before we left for the shoot

Cori chill'in on the way home
The top two photos are from Cori's Photo shoot. The photographer was Kevin McIntyre Photography. He did a great job and was a joy to work with. Check out his website at http://www.kevinmcphotograph.com/

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Graduation in 5 weeks!

I am graduating from University of Phoenix with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Business Administration in 5 weeks! On June 13th, 2011, I will finish my last class.....I am so super excited to be almost done with this huge accomplishment. I will not be walking to get my degree as I would not be able to have my family and friends there to celebrate with me. I will be going out to dinner with some girlfriends and then partying with Nate and the kids. I do not have any big plans for my degree but I knew I did not want to wait tables forever. This degree with help open doors and send me in the right direction. Words can't explain how happy I am do be finally done with school after these last two years of classes year-round.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Getting back in the Grove

A week after spring break and the entire family is trying to get back in the swing of things. The kids are prepping for the standardized tests...Joel this week and Cori next week. I have been catching up on my reading. The weather has been great and summer is starting to form. We have been at the pool for the last 3 days and will be back out there this week. I took the kids and some friends to see the movie Rango....not a good movie by the way. I actually read on my kindle thru most of the movie. The boys sat in the row in front of me and the girls sat in the very back of the theater. It is not cool to sit with mom anymore.

Cori has had a boyfriend for a month and a half now, Nick. For their 1 month anniversary....he gave her $10.

Cori has been off center this week. She was sad about family leaving and making a bad grade on a test. She bounced back and is ready for the weeks to come. Since we were going to the pool for a few hours, I asked her if she wanted to invite her boyfriend Nick to swim with us. She was so embarrassed that I would even ask her this. She said why would I want to do that, I see him all the time at school. Apparently they are not as "in love" as I thought if they do not want to see each other out of school. This is all fine with me, actually made me fill happy inside!!!!!!

After Last Wednesday's Tornado's that went through Alabama, I am thankful that all of my family and friends are okay. A few with little amounts of damage but nothing too bad. I was surprised how many people stopped me to ask about my family in Alabama. It was really quite moving actually. I even had a few guest at the restaurant who are regulars stop me on Thursday to ask about my family and let me know they were praying for us when they saw the news. It is amazing to watch God work through our lives across the country.

Today my car is getting new "much needed" brakes and oil change. The car repair shops just try to sell you everything under the sun to fix on your car. I hate taking my car in for minor things because I feel like the shop is going to rip me off on something else.

Spring Break ~ Part 3

Thursday was a Beach Day! The weather was really nice the entire week but never above 70 degrees. This meant that the beach was not very warm and the water still Very cold. We took the family out to the beach for a couple of hours. Joel swam in the 50 degree water with NO problems at all. He takes after my brother this way. The guys threw the football and the girls sat in the chairs and read.

Joel is the little dot out in the ocean

1st time at the beach

Loved the sand...digging a hole with Uncle Nate

More Sand!
After a quick change and dinner, which Nate's mom cooked ....  all week. Thanks Mom! We all went to the Aquarium in Long Beach! 
Everyone pilled in the van

Petting sharks 

Scuba diver cleaning behind me
Friday was our rest day! We sat out on our patio and brought out extra chairs and blankets and enjoyed the morning. We went to the pool in the afternoon, where Bryce loved to splash in the ho0t tub (pool was way to cold to play in). Matt and Jen wanted to experience YogurtLand, so off we went to get some frozen yogurt. Friday evening was dinner by Nate's Mom again, and board games for the adults. Mom just listen to us play games, while she cleaned my microwave (YEAH!) and gave Bryce a bath in the sink (YEAH from Jen). 

Saturday was the hardest day so far.....Everyone packed up and headed home. Nate and I knew it would be hard to say goodbye but we were not prepared for how hard it really was. When you have 5 extra people in your house all week, and then you are back to the normal 4 it gets really quiet and lonely. It was a blessing to not have to work on Saturday because I kept bursting into tears all day long. 

Don't get me wrong, we loved having everyone visit and it was a GREAT week of fun, laughs and memories but saying goodbye is hard! We also do not have any more trips planned or visitors coming so we are looking forward to summer and the kids finishing school.

Spring Break ~ Part 2

Monday of spring break the family all went to the San Diego Zoo and then dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Cori got her first Hard Rock t-shirt at the Cafe. It is red and also in my size. We all had fun spending time together all day and then Nate and I took turns loving on Bryce!

Grandpa and Joel trying to solve the problems of the world....

Every time we all went to look at an animal, everyone would start making all types of noises to get the animals attention. 

Aunt Val and Bubbas

Everyone finally stayed on the hippo for the photo

Congo Line!

Some animals should not be in a "glass" cage all the time....

Uncle Nate and Bubbas (in his new outfit from us)

Everyone at Hard Rock....Food Good, service not so much!

Tuesday was girl shopping in the morning, while the boys stayed home and played a bunch of Black OPS. Then we all went to the street fair at the Huntington Beach Pier. We bought FRESH strawberries (my fav) and funnel cakes to share!
Only Group Photo all week !
On Wednesday, Mom, Dad and Bryce went to Palm Springs to visit Aunt Lynn and the rest of us went to America's oldest amusement park, Knott's Berry Farms. We rode a ton of roller coasters and rides. I got air sick on the swings and had to go find some medicine. We paid WAY to much money for lunch. And laughed and played together ALL day! After we got home from the park, the adults went out to enjoy an relaxing dinner and the kids were happy to control the TV for a hour or so!

Up Next ..... Part 3!