Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Crazy Meal

  As part of advent this year we decided to try crazy meal. Everyone got $5 to pick out whatever they wanted and Justin made a meal out of it. It was sort of a food challenge to make a cohesive meal out of various random ingredients. Here is what we ended up with....it was surprisingly delicious. Cheesy broccoli mixed with kidney beans, corn muffins with black beans and bacon in them, guacamole with cinnamon cereal as a seasoning over taquitos and cheese (one slice of American from the deli counter split between the four of us) and  a plate of oranges and bananas.
  To break it down: Vander chose: Black beans, corn muffin mix, and cinnamon cereal. It was really fun, the boys had a really good time and I was very impressed by the foods they chose.
Ollie chose: kidney beans, 2 bananas, a bag of frozen broccoli covered in cheese, one slice of American cheese from the deli counter. Justin chose: 3 avocados, a couple slices of bacon from the meat counter, and I chose: 4 red Cara oranges that were being sampled at the grocery store that had great flavor, a box of taquitos.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Gilroy Gardens

 We took the boys to an evening of fun at Gilroy
Gardens and had a really good time. Gilroy Gardens does a special Holiday evening with a light show in the waterfall area and a special Charlie Brown show where they sing Christmas carols. We took the boys to be part of the fun. They really enjoyed having pizza and chicken strips at Gilroy Gardens and enjoying while sipping hot chocolate. They also loved going on a few rides together. Ollie was stoked that he was tall enough to go without an adult on several rides. It was decorated beautifully and we really enjoyed the quality family time together, and the fake snow too of course. Vander and Oliven both loved the fact that they each got a chance to DRIVE the car (and there was no line- score!) Don't we look like we are on a super fast train!!!

Monterey Bay Aquarium

  December 19th Vander's school took all the Kindergarteners on a field trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They have been learning all about the ocean. Vander has been talking to me recently about lemon sharks and wanting to be a scuba diver when he grows up. I was lucky enough to be able to go with them since Justin was able to work from home and Ollie had preschool. Anyway, I learned some really important things about Vander...1. He actually does listen to what we say to him and makes good choices based on what he has been taught. (At least when he is with other people). He chose to sit in the back row of the car instead of the middle because he thought it would be better if each of the boys had more space, then they would fight less. Really smart thinking. 2. He is really well behaved in comparison to many of his peers. He is very polite and accepts what adults say to him and responds respectfully and in a helpful manner. He was the best behaved kid in our group.
  It really was a joy spending time with Vander. He is curious and inquisitive, but also stays within boundaries. It is sometimes hard to have perspective when your own kid drives you crazy or challenges you, which Vander often does. It is nice to see him being such a great kid in group settings where you aren't sure what he might act like.
  I was extremely impressed by how many parents showed up to chaperone- there were 12 parents for 24 students! Great ratio!!! We had a good time and Vander really enjoyed seeing the octopus. I liked the jelly fish. We were in a group with Lisa(Jackson's mom), Jackson, Lyndon, Vander and myself. Lyndon was a little firecracker and he did not like to listen.

Monday, December 9, 2013


Hannukah was a bit unconventional this year. It started on Thanksgiving. Justin didn't realize how much Chanukkah meant to him until Thanksgiving stepped on it's toes (and Santa). We had to skip the 1st two evenings of Hanukkah, but made up for it the rest of the week. We had a great night with Latkas (some of the best- they were so good even Larry didn't mention them not being up to par) and roast with veggies with Larry and Theresa and Mitch, Katie and Heather at the Katz home in Morgan Hill. It was a great afternoon spent with family. Good company, great food, and of course- presents and fudge, what could be better? The boys got passes to Gilroy Gardens for the season. I am looking forward to taking them to the Holiday Lights. The rest of the week was pretty mellow, but each night we lit candles and enjoyed each other's company. One night we ate dinner by candle light.

Monday, December 2, 2013

San Diego Thanksgiving

Vander and Jules
  This year it was decided that we would spend a week in San Diego for Thanksgiving instead of in December. It was so nice seeing Emmie, Molly, Freddy and Annie and spending quality time at their house. Let me start from the beginning...
  Friday, we picked Vander up from school (they had minimum days) and headed down to Jon's house. We spent the evening with Jon and Ruth. He made us a dinner of parsnip puree, skirt steak with chimichurri sauce and roasted asparagus. We played some games and went to bed.
 Early Saturday morning we got back in the car and headed to Andrea's house to spend time with her and Jules. Calie was there too. We spent 1/2 the day with them and walked over to the store and made some egg sandwiches for lunch. Jules enjoyed the cheese and avocado. He is on the move now.
 Then, we headed down to Freddy and Annie's for the rest of the day. Van and Ollie got to meet their cousins for the first time and they were enamored.
  Sunday morning, Justin took the boys to Target to get new shoes. We thought we could wait, but they both had really thrashed their shoes scootering. Annie and I took an hour out to go get pedicures while the guys watched the kids. I also bought some chocolate covered honey comb to share, which my boys love. (Me too- grandma Gretchen started me on that when I was young). Later that day we took the boys to the park to play. They loved that, except Ollie did not want to step in the sand with his new shoes.
  Monday, Justin went out to sushi with Walter and we stayed at the house and hung out. Colby flew in to San Diego to join us and it was so great to have him there!
 Tuesday, Justin, Vander, Ollie and I went to lunch at the Burger Lounge with Walter and Elyse. Walter wanted us to meet her, and she was a very nice person. Unfortunately she only had an hour lunch, so it was short and sweet. We headed down to Grandma and Grandpa's house to spend a couple hours with them. The boys enjoyed the park while I spent some time with two of my favorite people and I got to see Hedy for a few minutes too when she dropped Grandma off from her mani/pedi. Then, we headed up to spend some time with Deb and have dinner at her place. She played Sorry with us and made taco/fajita's for dinner. The boys were especially fond of the ice cream pie.
  Wednesday was mostly spent cooking and prepping for Thanksgiving day while also taking care of the kids. Freddy was able to work from home, so we got to spend time with him too.
  Thursday was Thanksgiving and that was the big culmination of everything. It was a busy day getting ready in the morning, then the family showed up. The Thankful speeches made many of us cry. We had a great meal and spent lots of time hanging out. Santa and Mrs. Clause showed up with presents for the boys and the girls. It was pretty exciting stuff. Later that night the boys got to open their gifts from Hedy and David and Annie and Freddy. Then, we packed up the car.
  We left San Diego early (6:20am) Friday morning and didn't really hit any traffic, so that was really nice. It was a 7 hour, 3 bathroom breaks kind of trip. We stopped at a farmers market in Gilroy to grab some fruit for the week. 3 large bags for $7!
  Vander and Oliven thought Annie made some of the very best dinners that they had ever tasted while we were in Carlsbad, they also LOVED Thanksgiving dessert- they tried one of everything. They were so happy to meet their cousins finally!