Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008, Hello 2009!

Happy New Year! We went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant, Cilantro's, and now we are playing the Wii. Illegal fireworks planned to celebrate Chicago New Years! What could be more fun?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

2009's One Little Word

My word for 2009 is GRATITUDE. Picked it back in November and it's perfect for me. Doodle by Homegrown Hospitality.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

We Wish You a Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Beautiful artwork by Miss Em!Our 12' Christmas tree...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Fat Man in the Red Suit

Every year (for the last few), my mom has taken Nicolas to the mall to see the fat man in the red suit. This year we all went to see Santa and even the big kids got in the shot. So, here it is...3 cute kids with 1 shrinking Santa. Santa walked to his post with his cane...what? How in the world is this man going to stay up for 24 hours straight, manage grumpy and hungry reindeer and heave very large bags of goodies over his sleigh? Craziness!
The real deal is that we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus whom God sent to save us! Happy Birthday Jesus! Doodle by Homegrown Hospitality, quote by Rick Warren.
A little basketball fun! Isn't he handsome?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to You, Congratulations and Thank You!

This year, instead of doing our traditional white elephant party, Big Nick came up with the idea of going to Buca de Beppo's for dinner. Way more fun than a WE at home (and I didn't have to clean the house)! Thanks Nick and Kate for the wonderful smiles!
Thanks Big Nick for making my kids laugh!Singing "Happy Birthday" at least four times. We weren't celebrating a birthday, just singing for others. Uncle Mike got a "singing" too for picking up the dinner tab. Thanks Uncle Mike! We even stopped for a "singing" on the way out the door. Good ol' sober fun!Ticking off the waiter by asking him for more cream. He then brought the whole container from his station and plopped it on the table. Thanks for the great service Mr. Waiter...not!Ordering the dessert sampler for $30 (we all dug in...oink oink!). We were set on ordering a whole red velvet cake, but Ms. Waitress told us the sampler was much better. Thanks Ms. Waitress.
Congratulations Mike and Jen on your marriage!
Thank you Mike and Jen for dinner!
Thank you crazy family, we had a great time. I love my Italian (and non-Italian) family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Creating a Homey Feeling for the Homeless

Article Launched: 12/18/2008 01:35:36 AM PST
View actual story here.
(Jeremiah Ridgeway/Sentinel)
New guests at this six-room facility can expect a greeting basket filled with soaps, towels and wash cloths. Their linens will be new, their pillows plump. They may even get some flowers.
This isn't a bed and breakfast, though thanks to two Santa Cruz women it may now feel like one. This is the Jesus, Mary, Joseph Home for homeless women, children and the terminally ill. And Lisa Goodrich and Patti Erickson, both part-time real estate staging specialists, have given their extra supplies and time to make over the facility and give a homey feel to those without a place of their own.
"Everybody deserves a little luxury at some point in their life," Goodrich said.
Goodrich and Erickson co-own a staging business called Feels Like Home. They landed a major client, started building inventory and thought, "We could have a big yard sale or do something meaningful."
In less than six months, they've put new furniture, lamps, bedspreads and artwork in all six rooms of JMJ Home. They made over the living room and dining room and, while they were at it, redecorated Director Pat Gorman's cottage on the Lennox Street property.
For Thanksgiving, Goodrich and Erickson helped decorate and make desserts. They've also donated bags of clothing to the moms.
"They are real angels," Gorman said. "I tell them I can't thank them enough and their response is we're giving them a gift when we allow them to come in and do this."
Residents at JMJ Home can stay for up to a year while they get on their feet. Goodrich and Erickson have offered to makeover a room every time a new person arrives.
"For whatever reason, people wind up in our shelter," Gorman said. "It makes a huge difference to come in to a warm, inviting environment."
The women at JMJ Home showed their appreciation recently by having Goodrich and Erickson over for a feast of homemade Mexican food. Goodrich and Erickson responded by bringing by Christmas presents and throwing a pizza party for the women and their children Wednesday night.
"They're wonderful women and they're trying so hard," Goodrich said. "We're humbled by how little they have and how much they give and how much they work together."
Gorman, meanwhile, has been humbled by the efforts of Goodrich and Erickson. "Just over and beyond what you'd expect," she said.
Contact Isaiah Guzman at 429-2436 or

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Do Not Be Afraid!

There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger." Luke 2:8-12 (The Message)

Guest photographer: Little Nic (hoping to be like Big Nick one day.)

Camera: Olympus SP-350

Settings: Auto, keeping a finger on the lens and/or flash

p.s We were awaken @3:15 to very loud hail. This is how Sandy spent her morning...playing in the pile of hail that the kids left on the swing. Oh, the life of a canine!

Friday, December 12, 2008

The Best Company To Work For

Check out this article by Simple Mom. I think she wrote it just for me today!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Nothing Screams "Christmas" Like a Baseball Tourney in December!

And the completion of our "25 Days of Christmas" book!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Crafty Goodness!

Just a bit of the craftiness that is in our home (inspiration: Starbuck's cup o Joe). This cute idea came from Homegrown Hospitality and Red Shoes. What fun!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

O Happy Day!

There is nothing finer than the first day of December with the Christmas tree up and decorated, the house (almost) decorated and Christmas cards addressed and ready to send.
Here are a few Christmas card photo bloopers. Very silly kids.
I made this Advent calendar last year. It first appeared to me on Ali Edward's blog. Apparently, she is inspired by Martha as well.
This rather blah wreath arrangement will soon blast with color as soon as the Christmas cards start piling it. (Another great thing about Christmas time). I'll post it again once it's filled with cards.This, too, was a Martha idea. You can find Martha's wreath instructions here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving family and friends. Have a great day and remember that "Gratitude is an everyday attitude".
Couldn't resist this silly photo.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melody Beattie

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Frosting on Our Cake!

The frosting on our cake is in preschool and just got his school photos back. I'm speechless! I might be one of those sobbing moms when he goes to Kindergarten.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Only $0.42 To Spread a Little Love and Joy!

I received this email from my baseball mom friend, Maggie. It is a great idea and an excellent way to spread love to our recovering soldiers.

"When doing your Christmas cards this year, take one card and send it to this address. If we pass this on and everyone sends one card, think of how many cards these wonderful special people who have sacrificed so much would get. When you are making out your Christmas card list this year, please include the following:

A Recovering American Soldier
c/o Walter Reed Army Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue,NW
Washington,D.C. 20307-5001
Pass it on!"
The very creative doodle is by Stephanie and can be found here.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Miscellaneous Saturday!

Happy Saturday evening! The numbers are middle schooler showed up with a 3.69 GPA and my third grader with a 3.85 GPA. Happy first quarter. Love it!

I have been wanting to post about a recent experience I can be found here at my FEELS LIKE HOME Staging and Design blog.

It's hot here in NorCal! Mid 80's. Crazy, but I guess normal for the left coast!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Go Hug a Veteran Today!

Thank you Veterans for serving our Country so that we can be free! Go hug a veteran today!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bakerella I Am Not...

...But, I am so inspired by this cupcake pop making gal that I made these for Emilie's Girl Scout's Bridging Ceremony (hence the brown and green). I had an hour to pull a sweet treat together and didn't want to bring store bought cookies or cupcakes. These are very easy to make. My next goal is to make the real deal cupcake pops. Thank you Bakerella!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

You Must Go Here Now!!!

You all must stop here at Simple Mom to check out her latest contest! What fun! Thank you SM!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Go, Vote and Love!

Today is an important day in our country...educate yourself and VOTE!

Remember, regardless of other's political views we are to love and be kind to one another. Go, vote and love!
Above doodle can be found here. Don't get lost, it's a great site :-)

Saturday, October 4, 2008


Sunday, September 21, 2008

Soccer and Cowboys

Friday, September 12, 2008

Two Years of Canine Fun!

Happy Birthday Sandy!

Seven Years Later

Pray for the families that have lost loved ones, pray for those who had to experience this attack and pray for the leaders of our country!