Thursday, October 18, 2012

25 Random things about ME :) are 25 random things about me... maybe you knew some of these and maybe you will learn something new!

1. My favorite place to visit in the whole wide world is Vancouver, Canada.   My mom is a Canadian citizen and I absolutely love Canada!  The best vacation I've ever had was when John & I went to Canada in 2005.
2. I love to go to live "professional" sporting events (Football, Baseball, Basketball)
3. I call my mom every day on my way to work in the mornings and every day on the way home from work.  My parents live across the street and down a couple houses from me and I feel so blessed that they are so close!
4. I used to live in the Azores (Portugal) - on a little island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean - Terceira Island - 1990-1992.  I absolutely loved it there and would love to go back and visit someday.
5. My father-in-law is my hero! He was a Tuskeegee Airman in WWII - and is a retired  Chief Master Sgt. in the Air Force. He is so cool!!!
6. My very best friend Julie and I have known each other since Julie was in diapers. I think of her more as a sister than just my BFF!
7. I love being a grandma.  I have 3 grandchildren - Xavier, Lily, and Naveah.
8. I am adopted
9. I got into a bad car accident and hit a telephone pole head on and had to have back surgery in 1998
10. I am SO happy that my son is a senior this year at St. Joseph High School! I graduated from St. Joes back in 1988.
11. I love my job. I work with people who have developmental disabilities, and I work for a wonderful organization.  I have worked for VTC Enterprises for the past 10 years.
12. I have broken my arm three times - two times was because I got thrown off of a horse
13. I have been trying for like 2 1/2 YEARS to learn how to do the Dougie dance and let's just say that is a big ol FAIL.  Someone please teach me how to Dougie!
14. I love Tennessee and the Smoky Mountains in the fall.
15. I have two step-sons, Jon and Jordan, and  forget that "step" thing - those are my boys!
16. I love burritos. Like I'm addicted to burritos. Really. I have a burrito problem.
17. I went skydiving which is something I NEVER EVER thought I would do. I loved it! I want to go again.
18. I do not like seafood. Like, AT ALL.. no kind, no way, no how.
19. I'm extremely proud of my daughter who is 23, married, a homeowner, goes to school full time, has two children, and is Special Ed Teacher at Cabrillo High School. 5 more classes and she will have her master's degree.  See why I'm so proud?
20. I had to live with four teenagers in the house and I only went totally psycho about three times (Thank God for Ativan!!)
21. I had to serve on Federal Jury Duty in Los Angeles a few years ago on a huge high profile case. I was there for 6 weeks.
22. I used to scuba dive back in the early 1990's.  Sometimes I think I would like to get back into diving but then I think about Jaws and I just forget it.
23. I totally get along with my ex husband and his wife.  They come visit and stay at our house. It's great for the kids, and we all are really good friends.  I wish everyone could be like that with their ex's, it makes life so much easier and happier!
24. I love to write and have started writing a book but really need to stop being lazy and just finish it already!
25. I love to walk on the Avila Beach pier at night or go to Shell Beach and just watch the ocean

Monday, October 8, 2012


People have been asking me how come I haven't been blogging lately. Well, to tell you the truth, life just got a little crazy. I'll try to catch you up in a quick second or two, and then I'll do better about blogging from now on!

EXCHANGE STUDENT UPDATE:   I know you all want to know how that is going.   It's been an adjustment.  I am used to having very social people around me and a kid that stays in his room 24/7 and doesn't talk to me is really hard to get used to. I was taking it personal but I have come to realize it's nothing personal, it's really just a cultural thing and he is perfectly happy in his room with his computer watching Chinese videos.  I wish he would come out more and I'm totally working on it.  My goal is to start small, like somehow getting him to come out of that room for 30 minutes each evening to talk or watch tv. I'll keep you posted how that plan goes....

The silk very feminine looking pajamas had disappeared for a while and I was absolutely thrilled.  However, they have somehow made their return and he has been wearing them for the entire weekend.  And yes, he went outside to play basketball in them, short shorts, v-neck shirt, and all. I want them to burn. No really, I do. I'm so not kidding.

On the positive side of things, he does seem to like my cooking.  He absolutely loves beef but also seems to enjoy everything else I make too. Either that or he is starving by the time dinner rolls around. I swear that boy can eat half of his weight in food. 

So making Young's lunch reminded me that I don't enjoy making lunches, so I found something to save me... Uncrustables.  You know, the little frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches without any can throw them in a lunchbag and walaa there is lunch.  I even found reduced sugar ones on wheat bread.  I could kiss whoever invented those little things and I have to eternally thank Laura Badenell for saving my sanity by telling me to go buy some.

Nothing else too exciting to report really. Oh ya, wait.  I made my goal weight at weight watchers a couple months ago.. and this past Friday I went to weigh in and I was 10 lbs under my goal weight! So awesome!  I took about the last 6 weeks off of going to the gym, not for any reason except I was freakin lazy... but I'm feeling the need to go back now.  I really want to lose 5 more pounds.  I don't "need" to and I don't know why I want to, but I just do. So it's back to swimming and zumba very soon. See, if I say "soon" then I don't actually have to commit to going. I have excercise issues you know (like I hate exercise, really really really hate it).

Hope everyone has a great week and I'll be posting again soon!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Drew's senior pictures

So.... my son Drew is a senior in high school.  I'm kind of sad really.  I'm not ready for him to be 18 years old and not ready to think about him finishing high school.

The first stop on the senior year train is senior pictures. And by the way, Drew hates getting his picture taken. Wonderful.

I talked to Glenn Walton from Glenn's Photograpy because I have been admiring his photographs on facebook for quite some time.  He gave me an awesome price and was willing to go to pretty much any location we could think of.  I decided on Los Alamos because there are some cool places there to shoot pictures.  Oh, and Drew could have cared less where we went. Of course.

We met Glenn in Los Alamos and he took some great pictures. I had to threaten Drew just to get him to change his shirt one time.  And no, Drew wouldn't smile and show his teeth in like ANY of the pictures.   Glenn got me the pictures within like 2 days which I thought was SO great!!  Here are the ones that I liked the best.   Well, wait. I liked more than these but I had to narrow it down and of course Drew wasn't much help. So these are the ones that I ended up choosing:


So we have had a few pretty insane weeks and I haven't blogged at all. I suck at writing when I'm overloaded and stressed. So sorry, I'll try to do better. Key word there is "try"....

So lets start with my brilliant plan of all time.  See, it was the 7th of September and my birthday was on the 9th.  I was sitting at my computer and trying to figure out what John and I should do for my birthday.  I was thinking "well, we are totally broke but who cares, let's go do something" (when did being broke ever stop us, right?)  so I priced a quick jaunt to Vegas, a weekend in Monterey, and a weekend in San Diego.   All of those things would take at least a few hundred bucks, and Vegas even more.  So right as I was trying to figure out who lives close to any of those places and would let us crash on their floor or couch for a couple nights, out of nowhere an American Airlines ad pops up on the screen that says "Flight Price Drop: Albuquerque to Santa Barbara for only $107 each way".  My brain went into overdrive and before I had time to think of what I was doing, I was calling my step son Jonathan who lives in Albuquerque and asking him if he wanted to come visit and surprise his dad.  Jon was in.  I honestly couldn't think of anything more than I would want for my birthday than to see my husband surprised with a visit from Jon. I mean it, honestly.  It's been two years since we've seen Jon and John talks about how much he misses Jon on a daily basis.  (Are you keeping up with the Jon & John lingo? Jon = son  and John = hubby).

Anyways, I booked the ticket for the following Saturday.  OMG I kept wondering how I was going to keep this a secret because I totally suck at lying and at keeping exciting secrets.  But.. I did it! I told John that my friend Melissa was coming to visit and we would pick her up in Santa Barbara and then take her to Camarillo to his parents house and have a bbq down there for the day. John bought into it and then all I had to do was not blow it.  Phew.  I called Melissa and left her a message that went something like "um, I kind of involved you in a big ol lie but it's for a really good reason so I need you to just go along with it!". lol.  Melissa was game and thus the plan kept developing.  I almost slipped a few times but I made it thru the week. I even changed Jon's name in my phone so when he called me that morning it said "Melissa calling".  John was clueless. Everyone else in the world around me knew but John had no idea.

We went to the airport in Santa Barbara.  John was wandering off and he made me so nervous because he kept wanting to go all over the airport and here Jon was about to come down the escalator right in front of us! OMG!  Finally John saw his son and he was in shock and it was awesome. I was lucky enough to think ahead and had my phone ready so I captured the entire thing on video. I cried.   If you haven't seen the video yet I posted it on my facebook wall and will try to get it posted on here too.  John was so shocked he turned to me and said "what about your friend Melissa?"  to which I said "um, Melissa isn't coming, it was Jon the whole time". LOL  What a great surprise.

We headed down to Camarillo where we surprised Jordan as well.   Then I made everyone go outside so I could take some family pictures. They were overjoyed by the picture taking....ok not really, but that didn't stop me, I made them do it anyways.  John's parents have the best neighbors EVER and their neighbor Bill had his Model A Ford out and said we could take pictures in we all hopped in and got some great family pics.   It was all kind of a whirlwind and now I wish I would have gotten even more pics.... I thought Nacho was in the car too but he wasn't at one point, and Heather was MIA in the pics. So watch out FAMILY, next time I'm getting even more pics to make sure everyone is in them all :)  

It was AWESOME to have all of our kids and grandkids together for the day. It couldn't have been any better :) 


 Us with our kids and grandkids


 John and I with all of our kiddos

The pic above is our grandkids, Lily, Naveah, and Xavier.  Uncle Jordan gave Xavier the dollar bill he is holding in order to bribe Xavier to sit and take pictures. HAHAHAHA..that was great.

Our kids, Jon, Drew, Stefanie, and Jordan

Friday, September 14, 2012

Latest Happenings

It's been a while since I've caught up on the blogging. What can I say, we've been a little bit busy :)

Last weekend was my birthday 9-9.  I'm a whopping 42 years old now. We went to my favorite restaurant, F. McLintocks for dinner with Stef and Nacho, then hit Shell Beach and Pismo Beach, and then went miniature golfing at Boomers.  Stefanie made me walk into a tattoo parlor in Pismo...why? I have no idea. I HATE needles and I hate pain - so I already know that would get one dot on me and scream like a baby and be all done so why even try, right?  We walked in, we walked right out... when will my daughter learn?

Young Lee has been adjusting to life in the USA.  He continues to spend a LOT of time in his bedroom either doing his homework or watching Chinese videos on his computer.  I still don't really like the whole idea of him being a recluse in his room but I've kinda decided not to fight that battle right now.

Young went to his first high school dance. He was there for about an hour before he called to go home.  When I asked what he thought about the dance he just said "American girls are too much!". 

PAJAMA UPDATE:  So..... Young Lee has stopped wearing his silk pajamas outside to play basketball!  HOORAY!  I know some of you are sad......get over it.... I'm happy!  Although he does change into the pajamas often at like 3pm, they are worn in the house only.   I wish he had blue ones instead of pink ones but whatever....

This week was a little crazy for me. I had a booster board meeting on Monday night, then back to school night on Wednesday, and another meeting at the school yesterday.  What can I say, I LOVE St. Joseph High School :)

This weekend Young Lee and the other Chinese students are off on a trip to San Francisco. I'm so excited for him! And he finally accepted the fact that when I say "it gets cold" that he needs to dress warm.  He even packed a jacket and long pants!  I tried to help him pack but he said he could handle it so I made my motherly suggestions and hopefully he followed them.  I really have no idea if he understands most of what I say. I think he kind of catches every few words and then guesses what I'm saying and just nods his head.

We have a busy weekend planned with a friend coming from Indiana tomorrow morning. We are going to pick her up in Santa Barbara and then head down to Camarillo to BBQ with the family. We are usually so busy on the weekends and whenever we have a free weekend I like to go down to Camarillo and hang with the fam.

Drew is getting his senior pictures taken on Sunday. I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that my baby boy is a senior and I'm a little sad about it really. It seems like I was just getting my own senior pictures taken! Hard to believe it's been so long.

I have off work most of next week to hang out and have a little "stay-cation" with my friend.  I'm sure I will have lots of fun stories and pictures to post so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day Weekend Happenings

We had a great, mostly lazy, Labor Day weekend!

Friday night was St. Joseph High School's first home football game and the first home football game since I was deemed President of the Booster Board.  So... of course we went!   I knew it would be cold so I was appropriately dressed in like 3 layers of clothes plus my St. Joe's Parka which goes all the way down past my knees.  It's all about being prepared people. I know that everyone thinks California is warm but let me tell you, once the sun goes down it's freakin freezing around here.  So..... as I was saying... I was prepared.  I told Young Lee it was going to be cold and that he needed to put on his jeans and wear a warm jacket.  Of course he wouldn't listen to me (big surprise?).  He wore his shorts and flip flops and a thin jacket. I tried to tell him and John even said something to him but he just walked out to the car.  Me, being the concerned mum, brought along a blanket just in case.

We went to the game and Young Lee insisted on sitting with John & me, although we were in the dreaded "parents section".   The kid is not social at all...... I tried to get him to go sit with all of the other kids but it was a no-go.  So he sat next to John.   He had never seen football before in his 18 years of existence until coming to our house and he has been studying it pretty hard.  He got into the game and was clapping and cheering and standing up at appropriate times and everything.  I think I even saw a smile!   I noticed his skinny little legs turning blue, shivering, and covered with goosebumps so I got the blanket and handed it to him and told him to use it for his legs if he was cold. I swear this kid is never going to follow my advice.  He put the blanket next to him on the bleachers and kept on with the shivering and goosebumps. Whatever.  I provided all the necessary guideance and opportunities for him to get warm, right? So why was I so worried about it? I don't know but John told me to let it go and let him freeze if he wanted to becauase he had the blanket right next to him and knew he could use it if he needed to.  Ok, I gave up and went on my way checking on the volunteers and stopping by the snack bar to do my presidential "how's it going, thanks for coming to volunteer tonight" kind of stuff.  I bought Young Lee a snickers bar so his body can have some more calories to burn off with all of the shivering.   SJ won the game by like 40 points, so it was a great home opener :)

Saturday was a pretty lazy day in the morning.  We just kind of hung out and did pretty much nothing most of the day.  Young Lee ran around in the silk pajamas all day long - this time the second pair of silk pajamas came out, these ones are pink, but at least have pants instead of short shorts.  I didn't mention the pajamas to him, see I am getting better....

John & I went to a wedding and I told Young a list of several things that he could have for dinner.  I'm sure he probably just ate a cup of noodles because that seems to be his "go to" food, but he had about 4 choices of already easy made things to choose from.  Once again, I can't worry about it, the boy is 18 years old (gotta keep telling myself that).

Scott Cox & Casandra Young are our friends who got married. Everything was absolutely beautiful and we had a great time with friends.  There were so many people that I knew there and people I hadn't seen since high school  (got to visit with Doug Cox for a while! Great seeing him and meet his wife and kids!).

Here is a picture of Fran, Me, John, Dolores, & David at the wedding:

 And another pic of us girls with the beautiful bride :)

Sunday was another lazy day.  Young spent pretty much the entire day in his room on his computer.  As usual.   On Sunday evening John decided to go to the Santa Maria Speedway to watch the races.  He took Young Lee with him. I once again told Young Lee to go put on his jeans and tennis shoes and wear really warm clothes because it would be very cold at the races.  He came out again in flip flops and shorts. FINALLY John stepped in and told him that he needed to go change and wear long pants and socks with tennis shoes and a warm shirt and jacket.  He said "ok, ok" and didn't look too happy, but he went and changed into sweat pants, tennis shoes, and his thin jacket.  Once again, on the way out the door I grabbed a hoodie and told John to make Young put it on because he would be absolutely frozen without it.  John took it but just shrugged his shoulders as if to say "I'll tell him but you know he isn't going to wear it".  Again, Whatever, right? He freezes then it's not on me because I tried... once again.

The boys had fun at the races. John said that Young took tons of pictures.

John and Young dived into greasy racetrack food and woofed down some chili cheese fries. I wonder how his stomach was after that experience?

Of course Young Lee did not wear the sweatshirt that I sent for him and yes, he froze again. Duh.  I think maybe he isn't used to following directions given by females? Or maybe he is a little stubborn like most other males in my life?  I'm not sure.  But...... I'm learning really fast that I will give him what I deem is good guidance and support and he can either choose to follow my advice or he will suffer from the natural consequences (i.e. not wearing warm clothing will cause you to freeze).

Despite the cold, the boys had a great time at the races.

Monday was Labor Day and there was absolutely no labor going on at our house. John and I watched movies and Young did what he always does,  hung out in his room with his computer.

This coming Sunday is my birthday and we may venture down to Venice Beach, Hollywood, Universal Studios or Magic Mountain.  Young said that Magic Mountain sounds "boring" to him so we may be going without him.  Who knows? This sitting in the room for hours and hours upon end, obsessed with the World of Warcraft game has got to change. I've gotta get this boy out to be more social!!  It's my life goal right now...poor

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Compromise I got home from work about 4:30pm and guess what?  You got it, the pajamas had returned. Sigh.  (Kristin I know you are smiling). short lived happiness was instantly deflated as I saw Young Lee come out of his room in the pajamas. Sigh again.  HOWEVER, I decided that even though it was still early in the day and he clearly was not going to bed anytime soon, the bright side is that he wasn't outside playing basketball in the front of the house while wearing the pajamas.  So I suppose I can kind of compromise here and as long as he isn't running around Orcutt in the pj's I will just let it go.

What can I say?  I see the pajamas and I instantly secretly daydream of them shredding in the washing machine.  Now of course I would never really wish that would happen but you know what I mean. It's like instant pajama hatred whenever I see them before 8pm or so.

I'm working on it people, I really am.

Young had his first beef and bean burritos tonight.  We eat burritos and tacos a LOT at our house.  What can I say, it's easy, cheap, and everyone likes it.  He made a huge burrito and woofed it down and then I heard a "mum I would like another one" so I got all excited because he actually talked to me without me having to ask him a question first, and I ran in the kitchen to help him heat up the tortilla on the stovetop.  I didn't think that Young's culinary skills were ready for the tortilla warming.  You know how we Californian's do it..we throw the tortilla over the gas flame and hope we don't set the kitchen on fire, while also flipping it with our hands and hoping we don't burn the crap out of our fingers, which we ultimately all have done at one time or other.    Anyways, he inhaled the second burrito and was walking around with a hand on his stomach like "OMG I ate too much".

Besides coming out for burritos and to get some water I haven't seen much of Young tonight.  He has a lot of homework every night and pretty much stays in his room sitting at his desk.  It's either homework or watching Chinese videos or playing a video game on the computer.  Young doesn't really initiate conversations too much but he will answer questions when I ask him things, which is much better than the previous two weeks.  Drew still tells me that Young comes into his room and talks to him all the time. I'm wondering where in the heck I am when all of this conversating is going on.

Young does tell me he likes it here and I love it when he calls me "mum" so things really are going pretty good and it's getting better and easier.

Com'on folks.....join me in hoping for a pajama free day tomorrow :)