Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Holidays are Here!

In the past 10 days, we've had a lot of events. Most were happy, just one sad. Not to be a downer, but I'll start with our sad goodbye to Josie's very dear friend, LoLo. LoLo was Josie's first friend at her pre-school here in California. LoLo, like the pre-school friends we left behind in Virginia, is a Hugger. We love Huggers! The girls adore each other, so this was a tough one for Josie. LoLo and her parents Ross & Leah will remain close in our hearts as they start their new life in Colorado.

James turned 49 years old on the 21st. As is our tradition, he got to pick his birthday dinner. This year he surprised us with a request for Cream of Crab Soup. I found an excellent recipe on the Old Bay Website and doctored it up a bit (added quite a bit of Sherry and other spices). We served the soup in bowls of sourdough bread. It was VERY filling and really delicious! A crisp green salad went along with the soup and of course, red velvet cake for dessert.

Disneyland switched over from Halloween to Chirstmas decorations in record time. We took Josie to see the Christmas tree on Main Street and then her favorite -"Its a Small World" -all decked out in lights. It took us 45 minutes in line to get on that darn little boat and honestly I had that song as an ear worm for the next 3 days... Torture!!

This year we decided to do a bit of local exploring for Thanksgiving. James' family was unable to make the trip to visit us and my family was gathering at my sister Suzanne's house in Philly. I certainly didn't feel the urge to spend all day cooking for just the four of us, so off we went to San Diego.

We stayed at a Marriott resort on Coronado Island which was really 'old school' but lovely. Josie loved the flamingos and ducks which had free run of the resort. Did you know that flamingos eat bread? I didn't, but found out rather quickly when Josie held a roll in her hand...

We spent Thanksgiving Day visiting the Hotel del Coronado's beachside ice skating rink. It was a bit odd, but fun. The day was sunny with temperatures in the mid 60's. It was Josie's first time on ice skates. Initially, she wasn't too thrilled with the concept but she got more brave with each trip around the rink. In the end she declared that she 'loved' ice skating.

After we took off the skates, we took a walk on the beach. Just writing that is pretty weird, but the experience is what we all deemed "Soooo California"! It really was a great time for all of us.

Being in San Diego was the perfect excuse to resist the urge to hit the 4AM Black Friday sales. Santa is going to be a bit stingy this year... 3 big presents for Maddie. For Josie, well.... We've spent the better part of the month trying to convince her that there was NO WAY Santa's sleigh could carry everything she is wishing for. Our girl does have a lovely heart though... In her letter to Santa Claus she asked him to please bring new toys to the 'poor children'. What a kid :-)

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Maddie Gets A Ring...

This evening was the Junior Family Mass where Maddie and her classmates received their High School rings. The rings were blessed during the course of the mass and then given individually to each student.

We were thrilled that Maddie and her 'Gang of Four' cohorts were chosen to participate directly in the Mass through readings and offerings.

(Sorry for the blurry photo... church lighting stinks!)

Brianne, Maddie E, our Maddie and Hailey - The Gang of Four!

Josie and I sat next to Hailey's parents, Jane and Rick, during the Mass. James is out of town on business and I know he was very disappointed to miss this big event.

Jane, Hailey and Rick

Finally, never to be out of the spotlight for long - Josie had to get into the photo with the girls! They all adore each other, so I'm glad I was able to get this last shot...

It really was a beautiful celebration and it gave us a chance to count our blessings just a bit ahead of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 8, 2010

My Husband, A Poet? I think Not.

Disclaimer: James would be a blogger if he didn't already use all his spare time writing articles about cars. He is a member of the Motor Press Guild. He writes for his hometown newspaper's Auto section; Roundel BMW magazine; der Bayerische magazine; and other auto publications. He doesn't like when I edit his work, so here is his attempt at poetry in raw form. Though I pride myself in being a loving and supportive wife, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say he should really stick with writing about cars :-)

Twas 45 Days until Christmas

And throughout Disneyland

Were lights and cameras

And lots of stagehands

Because this Sunday

Which Josie and I didn’t know

Was the day that Disney

Taped their annual Christmas Day show

There was snow of the roof

Of Sleeping Beauty’s Castle

Half the park was cordoned off

Which made walking a hassle

In front of the castle

Was a brightly lit stage

And in the middle was Selena Gomez singing

The kids screamed in gleeful rage

She and Nick Cannon shouted out to Ryan Seacrest at Disney World

Who, if you watch the E! show “Soup”

Is said to be quite short

And somewhat aloof

We saw Woody , Buzz, Ariel, and Tiana

All dressed for the cold

Carrying holiday flora and fauna

A classic look, I'm told

We thought where we stood was safe

But instead

The Queen of Hearts pushed me aside and screamed,

“Off with his head!”

Selena Gomez sang “Winter Wonderland”

And dressed for snow

But it’s 80 degrees

She needed water to complete her show

We saw seven dwarfs , Tigger.

Mary Poppins and Bert

All dressed for Christmas

The Princesses in English Holiday skirts

Instead of riding rides

We watched the Toy Story Christmas Parade

Spreading holiday cheer

On this warm Southern California Day

As we left, a Disney employee said

“Thanks for helping us create this Happy Holiday sight

For it let’s us be with our families

On Christmas Night!”

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween 2010

Josie at the Pumpkin Festival - Cal Poly Pomona

Josie & Mom (Evil Queen & Snow White) Friday night

Maddie & Haley (Alice & Queen of Hearts) Friday night

Josie & Hailey

Pumpkin Painting - Friday night

Maddie and the Gang - Halloween

Jane (Hailey's Mom) as Cruella de Ville and the Gang

Antoinette, Brianne, Maddie, Maddie & Hailey - Halloween

James, Josie, Carson the Spartan and Casey the princess

James & Josie - Halloween

Isabella, Katie & Josie - Halloween