Friday, June 29, 2012


 June 29, 2012

With Bree working and Nicholas out of town, Danielle and I get to spend a little one-on-one time together.  This afternoon's outing was bowling, during which I showed her my mad skills at bowling.  By mad skills, of course, I mean my ability to move the ball from one end of the lane to the other.  How many pins fall down in the process is irrelevant.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jesse's Girl

 June 28, 2012

My friend Francine and I bonded early on in our friendship over our guilty-pleasure love of 80s, and more specifically, Rick Springfield. Last year we took a road trip to the state fair to see him in concert, so when we found out he was going to be playing in Sacramento this summer, we knew another girls' night out was in the cards.  We got there early enough to get great seats, and of course we had our roses to give him (a signature part of his show--'playing' his guitar with the bouquets, showering the stage with the petals).  The picture below is him actually using the bouquet I handed him!  As always, he put on a fantastic show, and I just love that Francine is such a fearless super-fan that she makes sure she gets recognized in the audience at each of his concerts she goes to.  This was only the second one I've gone to with her (she's been to several), but I'm pretty sure there will be more in our future. 

Leaving on a Jet Plane

 June 28, 2012

I just put Nicholas on a plane for his very first flight--and it's a solo flight!  Uncle Scott and Aunt Julie invited him out for a little visit with all the Washington Mayes boys.  After spending every summer with his sisters and all the Gaetje girls, it's fair that he get to spend a little time among the boys for once.  I was a little nervous about the fact that he has not one, but two flight changes on the journey, but he seemed more excited than nervous.  He's fifteen and a pretty self-sufficient kid, so I have no doubt that he could problem-solve if any issues came up, but still it makes me so happy to live in a time when our cell phones allow us to touch bases through out the trip just in case something were to go wrong.

They're Getting a Little Too Bold; They Might Be Hatching a Plot

June 28, 2012

You might remember a few days ago I posted about my unfortunate run-in with a June Bug--one that dug its tiny little feet into my hair and held on for dear life, much to my dismay.  Well, ya'll, it seems something is afoot up on our front porch.  I mean, during the summertime, it's not all that uncommon to see three or four of them taking up residence on our front porch screen, but tonight--well, tonight was the stuff of horror films, or at least my own little nightmares.  Maybe they were angry about the way I'd treated their kinsman a few days ago.  Who knows?  Maybe in June-Buggy-World, that was beloved old Aunt Marge, and I'd taken a swat at her.  Clearly those bugs talk amongst themselves, and I am no longer held in high regard, if ever I once was.  No, they're out for revenge, hatching a plot to intimidate me.  Frankly, it's working.

 Tonight I opened my front door to take out the trash, and all of Aunt Marge's relatives, even the distant ones, had made their way to my home.  And normally, these ugly creatures are pretty static and mellow, give or take the random erratic and hyperactive one, but tonight they were all hopped up on their mutual sense of indignation.  As soon as the door cracked open, they set their sights on dive-bombing me!  There was buzzing, there was hissing, and there was screaming.  (The buzzing and hissing was theirs; the screaming, most decidedly mine.)  There were June Bugs on the porch screen, there were June Bugs at my feet on the mat, and there were June Bugs flying through the air.  Before I could even slam the door shut, there were June Bugs flying IN MY HOUSE.  The kids laughed at me until a few of the bugs decided my loved ones were fair game, too.  Then it wasn't so funny.  Hubby came in to check out the commotion, and though he is none too fond of the creatures, he at least managed to get them all back out onto the porch and out of the house.  I hope we sent a message that we wouldn't back down without a fight, but if they come in for the attack again, I'm going to have to sneak out a side window for the rest of the summer any time I've got to leave the house after dark.  Clearly, they have it in for me, and they're telling their friends.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Turkey Sausage, Mushroom, and Spinach Quesadilla

June 26, 2012

Great for any meal!  Tasty and quick.  I love how many things I can sneak spinach into.

Monday, June 25, 2012

My Workout Buddies

June 25, 2012

Sometimes, it takes a little motivation to get me to the gym.  You know, an object at rest stays at rest...that sort of thing.  So I signed up these little personal trainers to hit the gym with me.  They're much more enamored of the novelty of the gym, so they always want to go. 

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rock of Ages Girls' Night

June 22, 2012

When I first saw the trailer for the movie "Rock of Ages," I knew I'd have to see it. Julieann, ever the party planner, decided we needed to make it a girls' night out.  We got together first at her house to eat and reminisce about the 80s (two of my favorite things!), and then we headed out to the theater.  After the show was over, it so happened that my favorite 80s cover band, Cut Shot, was having a rehearsal at Jimmy's house, so I dragged all the girls over there to continue our night out with our own private concert.  As always, I had a fantastic time hanging out with these women!

Gina, Jodi, Me, Julieann, and Michele

Thursday, June 21, 2012

In Which We Apparently Add to Our Family...Maybe

June 21, 2012

The kids were out doing some weeding in the backyard tonight, when suddenly Danielle saw something moving in the weeds.  It was a big something, relatively speaking--not a buggy sort of a size.  Miss Fearless came in and got a flashlight to investigate, because dusk was rapidly becoming night.  (For the record, if either Brianna or I had detected a creepy crawly--big or small--in the foliage, we'd be done.  Time to call it quits and head inside for the night, doors locked ThankYouVeryMuch.)  Not Danielle.  She wanted to know what it was.  Nicholas was right there by her side and caught the poor fellow, who probably figured out pretty quickly that he'd hopped into more than he was expecting out of his night. 

The kids brought him inside and I found a bucket to put him in, where he promptly illustrated that we had quite literally scared the poop out of him.  The kids were pretty amused by it, giggling while we transferred the poor guys to the sink so I could clean up his new temporary home.  Danielle was a little more interested in the mystery of 'I wonder what that is' than the actual 'This could be my pet!' epiphany that Nicholas experienced.  Danielle didn't take too much convincing to allow Nicholas to claim ownership, and Nicholas held him up and declared, "I shall name him Herbert!"  Mom, on the other hand, is still not convinced Herbert is anything more than a temporary guest.

Summer Lunch

June 21, 2012

It's too hot to cook, but the kids just keep on getting hungry right around lunchtime anyway.   Here's my happy alternative to cooking for today:  Veggie and cheese kabobs:  mozzarella cheese, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, artichokes, and black olives, all drizzled with balsamic vinegarette.  Yum!  Danielle thought it was delicious.  Nicholas liked it quite a bit, too, but would like to see me add some kind of a protein next time--salami or ham, perhaps.  A fair request.  I think we'll have this one again a few times this summer.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Happy Birthday to Bree

June 20, 2012

On Bree's birthday, we went out to dinner to celebrate.  She really wanted to go to Giuseppe Gallo's, which we all love.  It didn't take much to twist our arms.  We had a lovely little stack of gifts for her to open at the restaurant, but the best gift--the one we saved for last, was her Kitchenaid.  As a baker, Bree has been really wanting the Kitchenaid mixer, but those little guys are really expensive.  We had told her, as a matter of fact, that times were tight and getting a gift that extravagent was not going to happen.  However, we had been planning to buy her one for months, thinking it would be a fantastic surprise.  To keep it a surprise, we enlisted the aid of the Martins at the restaurant to smuggle in the box and hide it under our table before I got to the restaurant with Bree.  (Doug and the kids beat us there, in order to make that happen).  As for my part in the ruse, I wrapped up seven different boxes, each tucked neatly inside the previous box, until the smallest one was the size of a tiny ring box.  Inside the ring box was a little note that said, "Now ask your mama where the REAL present is."

The little moments of frustration as she opened each box only to find another box were worth the end result.  She had no idea that the real present, hidden under the table, was the thing she hadn't even dared to hope for--her beloved, shiny red Kitchenaid.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Pinterest Kind of Summer

June 19, 2012

Every summer when I'm on break from school, I vow to shake things up a bit by trying new craft projects and new recipes.  Often, though, good intentions fall by the wayside, victim of inertia and routine.  This summer, however, I have Pinterest to spark my motivation.  It's not that there's necessarily ground-breaking stuff on there; as a matter of fact, probably a lot of what's on there is common fare for most people.  I go to the boards and think, "Hey-I could make that! It doesn't look hard at all!"  And so, I have resolved once again to change things up in the kitchen and in the home--try out some new things which, perhaps, can move into the regular rotation once the school year kicks into gear again.

Here's today's lunch, courtesy of Pinterest.  It was delicious, by the way!

Grilled Caprese Sandwich

Monday, June 18, 2012

Sometimes Breaking Records Is Not a Good Thing

June 18 2012

On Sunday we knew it was going to be hot, but it turned out to be record-breaking.  We hit a high of 109 in Fresno.  The previous record from this day is history was 107, set in 1917.  All I can say is--knock on wood--our air conditioning is working this summer.  I'm going to have to run all my grocery shopping errands at two o'clock in the morning, just so I can unload my car when it's only 100 degrees outside.  I think during the summer months, more places should be closed in the heat of the day, and should open over night.  That way we could all cocoon up in our houses and not have to venture out when walking outside has us running the risk of cooking our brains in the heat.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Birthday, Part One

June 14, 2012

Doug had to work during the day of my birthday, but all three of the kids were at home.  These days are more and more precious, since there's pretty real likelihood that there won't be too many more years when all of the kids will be able to join me on my birthday.  They're growing up, and although we'll still celebrate birthdays, it might not be all together at the same time.  I told the kids I wanted to go to PCH Subs for lunch, and honestly, we had a great time just laughing and playing and being silly.  Hanging out with my kids--the best kind of birthday present.

My Hubby Spoils Me

June 14, 2012

I'm pretty sure Doug was almost as excited to give me my birthday present as I was to get it.  Not only did he get me a great new laptop (to replace the archaically slow old one), but he got it in a beautiful BLUE!  I absolutely love it!  My hubby is such a generous and thoughtful gift-giver.  He really does try to find exactly the right thing.  He even paid a little extra for the blue shell because he knew how much I'd love it.

My Birthday, Part Two

June 14, 2012

Doug's band had a gig scheduled on my birthday, so we just decided to make the whole night out my birthday party.  I invited tons of friends to come celebrate with me and rock out to the band at Uncle Tom's.  It was really an amazing night!  The boys sounded fantastic and I was surrounded by great friends the whole evening. 

Jen and Brent

Victor and Michele
Darren, Rosa, Kelly, and Shirley

Brent and Me
Doug and Joe
"The Coffee Group"
The Gledhills
Mitchel and his date
Rosa, Me, and Kelly

I love how much these guys enjoy playing together!
Dave and Kris
Val, Me, and Jennifer
Michele and Pat
JIm and Me
Rick and Me
My beautiful chocolate cake from Giuseppe Gallo's.
Wendy and Me
Wendy, Brent, Jen, and Me
Joe and Wendy.  Adorable!
Doug and Dennis