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!