Wednesday, May 30, 2007

GG turns 86!

Happy Birthday GG! On May 24th, GG celebrated her 86th birthday, but the family celebrated on Memorial Day at Mom and Dad's house. We had a tasty steak dinner and GG got gift cards, lumbar supports for her office chair (where she checks and sends email daily) and a scrapbook album from the Guthrie Gang. The challenge of the day: Blowing out all those candles!

Not-so-beachy day

We took the boys, Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Mark to the Del Mar beach on Camp Pendleton. While there was no Memorial Day crowd in sight, niether was the sun. A bummer for me, since I was hoping to work on my currently non-existant tan. The boys didn't seem to notice the chilly 64 degrees. Will got his fill of salt water and Xan was beside himself with all the opportunities the big sandbox offered. Rodney was his usual (at least lately) cheerful self. He still isn't too fond of sand, thanks to his trips to Iraq.

Sandbox weather

It's been quite nice here lately, with temperatures in the low to mid 70's. Will and Xan have been taking advantage of it at Grandma Nancy and Grandpa Mark's house, playing in their turtle sandbox.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Cousin Gerry Stops By

Grandma Ginia's cousin Gerry visited the family this week, pausing for a rambunctious dinner at my parents' house. The boys were quite busy and animated, but seemed to enjoy her company. Gerry is always fun to talk to, as she has traveled all over the world, frequently to Tibet, and most recently to the Panama Canal. I hope our evening was a pleasant end to her month-long vacation away from her Albuquerque home.

Popcorn Fan!

Like his Mommy, Xan is a big fan of popcorn. In fact he is quite serious about helping himself - and I DO mean HELP HIMSELF. Xan will not allow anyone help him with much of anything he thinks he can do for himself. (Gee, does this sound like someone you all know and love?) This includes: Choosing his own popcorn pieces (he will not accept the ones handed to him), spooning his own ice cream (he will turn his face away if you try to feed him) and opening as many front doors as possible (we will stand there for ages while he continues to try to twist the door knob open.) For now, I'm enjoying Xan's independent streak. When he's a teenager, I'm not so sure ...

Monday, May 14, 2007

We'll Miss You Guys!

Our "Marine Corps" friends Chris and Michi Stephenson are being transfered to Cherry Point in North Carolina. The good news is they have purchased a very cute 3-bedroom house and their payment will be just slightly higher than what they pay here for a one-bedroom apartment. The bad news is they are moving away from us. While we didn't get to see each other much more than every couple of months, we always managed to just pick up where we left off.

We all met in summer 2004 when Rodney and Chris were assigned to the same MEU (aircraft carrier trip to the Middle East) and had to train for it. Michi and I became fast friernds when we drove to Yuma, Az., to visit the boys while they were there training. Michi is Austrian, so I found her stories about growing up, becoming an au pair, and meeting Chris facsinating. She tolerated my stories about whatever happened to come to my mind at the time while we drove for four hours at a time.

We had our good-bye dinner last night at the Irvine Spectrum. As always, we had a good time. So good, in fact, that it didn't occur to me that I wouldn't see them for a long time until it was time to say good-bye for the night. It was such a bummer to realize that it wasn't just for the night, after all. Best wishes to you both and we are definitely planning to visit! Be sure to hold us to it!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day

Mother's Day has been quite lovely so far. I got some much-needed sleep, sleeping in until noon. Rodney gave me a dozen roses and a gift card to Angels Scrapbook Garden. Will made me a heart-shaped box with candy in it. (Will helped himself to the single piece of chocolate, but that was fine - less for me to add to my butt.) Will took this picture of me with the card he made at preschool. All the boys got me a card and some tasty Ralphs cupcakes. After I upload these pictures to the blog, I am heading out to the scrap room to scrap the day away! Happy Mother's Day, everyone!

Aunt Gina's Baby Shower

Mom and I hosted a baby shower at Mom;'s house for Gina, who is expecting Brandon Han Kasal at the end of June. There were about 14 ladies present to play games, eat and watch Gina open her gifts. The games we played were:
1: Everyone got a Lifesaver pacifier to wear around her neck. If she said the word "baby" (in English OR Korean!) the person who caught her, got her pacifier. The one with the most pacifiers at the end of the party won!
2: Using a ball of yarn, everyone estimated how big around Gina was. The one who cut their string the closest to Gina's circumference, won!
3: Mixed in with a bowl of uncooked rice was 250 mini safety pins. Each person was blindfolded, one at a time, and had to pull out as many safety pins as they could in 30 seconds!
4. There was a tray of baby items that everyone got to look at for 10 seconds, In two minutes, they had to write down all the items they could remember.

We ate a homemade baby carriage cake and watched Gina open all of her fabulous gifts. Everyone seemed to have a great time! A big thanks to everyone!

Random Pictures of the Boys

These were taken this week. Xan is still perfecting the art of feeding himself. He's now also working with a spoon to eat yogurt. We were at the grocery store Saturday morning and Will insisted we get one of the very-hard-to-push-without-knocking-over-displays-of-Coke racecar shopping carts. Xan didn't argue, so after wiping down the seating area with the handy disinfectant wipes Ralphs has by the front door, both boys got a brief ride.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Uncle Joe's Pamper Poker Party

The equivalent to this party, for women, is a baby shower. Since men run screaming from baby showers, but Joe and Gina could really use a plethora of diapers with Brandon's scheduled arrival June 25, my mom, dad, husband and I hosted a Pamper Poker party at our house May 5. We had 17 men playing (only two ladies were present - sort of. One guy brought his date, who watched but did not play, and then there was me, and I hid out in my scrap room as much as possible!

The way the Pamper Poker party game works is this: Each guest brought a package of diapers as the "gift" or "ante". While there was only supposed to be diapers for the baby, a couple of guys got creative and brought some Depends for Joe. Those still counted toward the diaper total.

For every two diapers you brought, you got a poker chip for the first game, with the limit being set at 200 diapers (or 100 chips). Winner took all - a $100 gift card to Home Depot - and the winner was Peter Paturzo, who bought shelves for his garage with it the next day. Go, Pete!

After that first game, others were played and it made for a 2 a.m. evening, but that was apparently OK with me - I was a little tired and slept in until 1:30 p.m. Sunday. I couldn't believe it when I saw the clock! Ahhh ... it reminded me of those 'ol college days...

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Rodney's Promotion

Rodney's afternoon promotion ceremony was nice, and fast, which was great for the Will and Xan's attention span. Aside from the family, Chris and Michi Stephenson also attended. I made sure to get pictures of everyone who was there for his big day. Rodney's Grandpa Bill and Dad, Paul, pinned him in the ceremony. Rodney gave his Mom and Marine Corps Mom locket pin to commemorate the event.

By the time the ceremony was over, and Rodney was pinned a Gunnery Sergeant, it was almost 2 p.m. and no one had eaten yet. We thought of having lunch at a nearby Olive Garden ... but Rodney hadn't packed any civilian clothes. Luckily, Chris came to the rescue with a very not-so-Rodney's-style outfit: Too-small cargo shorts, a T-shirt and flip-flops. Watch your eyes when you look at The picture! His legs are a little WHITE!

But, truly, baby, I am very proud of you for being promoted so quickly. As much as I hate the Marine Corps life, I am very happy that you have found a career where you are so successful! And, by the way, thank you for the roses!