Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Year of News in 3:20

Happy New Year to each an every one of you! I hope the New Year will bring you happiness, health and everything you desire.
I came across this video, and really enjoyed it, so I thought it would be fun to share with you. This guy pretty much sums the whole year of news up into a tidy 3:20 video. He touches on a little bit of everything...

**video is courtesy of

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

San Diego Drivers Beware!

There's a new kid on the roads! I'm very proud to tell you that A.J. got his driver's license today, and with a perfect 100% on his driving test too! We were both extremely nervous (who isn't when they test for something like this!?!) but he came through with flying colors.

The first thing he wanted to do was go shopping for a Jeep. Keep dreaming buddy! (But, hey, if anyone out there can hook a sister up with a Jeep Rubicon at a decent price, drop me a line!)

Congrats A.J., now keep your eyes on the road!

Silly Dogs!

Just because it's December 30th, and it's been bone-chilling cold here lately, (at least for San Diego standards...which means it's been dipping into the 40's- brrrr- the last couple of nights) it doesn't mean that it's too cold for a quick dip in the pool. The water is hovering in the high 50's which suits the dogs just fine. It was time for a bath for all 4, so I figured why not let them swim a bit before their baths and at least burn a little energy. They had a blast, and now are completely pooped! I love pooped pups!

Pups on Parade on TV!

My friend Valerie was channel surfing last night and came across a showing of the Escondido Christmas Parade that our Golden Group recently participated in. She grabbed her camera and took this video for me. You can see her pup, Joey, watching all of his buddies on the TV - too cute!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Doggone Good Time

The pups certainly had a wonderful Christmas! There were presents a-plenty, tons of treats, and fun for everyone!

"My, Momma, what big presents you have!"

"Oh, I like the little kitty!"
Kona and Harley working on a present together.

Kona LOVES his new "baby"
Everyone likes the scrunchy sounding toy!
Harley claims this one for her own!
"You mean to tell me they are ALL for us?"
Dig in kids!
Auntie Val brings presents for everyone! She is like Santy Paws!

Kona, you've got to share that...
Good boy!
Harley claims another one for her own!
What a great day they all had!

And a Merry Christmas it was!

It's Sunday afternoon now, and things seem to be getting back to "normal" -whatever that means. I'm very happy to say that all of my Christmas decorations are packed up and put away, stored snugly in the rafters until next year. I pulled the "Bah Humbug" card a little early, and talked everyone into helping me get it all put away the day after Christmas. I've gotta say, it does feel nice to have the house back in order.

We did have a lovely Christmas though, from dinner and present opening with my parents on Christmas Eve, to Christmas morning chaos with the kids and the dogs here at home. I am pleased to say that everyone seemed to be happy with their Christmas presents, and there is only one item to be returned, due to a wrong size. I can't beat that!

Our Christmas dinner turned out lovely. The 23 lb. turkey I cooked came out delicious, and all 16 of the side items came together perfectly. Everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy themselves and the meal, and I couldn't have been happier. This year we decided to invite a few friends to dinner that we hadn't in the past, and I was so happy that we did. The house was warm, noisy and full of fun. Having our friends over made the day extra special, and I hope to make that a new tradition. It truly warmed my heart and reminded me of what the Christmas spirit is all about.

Here are just a few pictures from our little festivities.

My parents.

G-Ma and Bear

Bear, AJ and Pickle, being good sports and eating Christmas dinner at the breakfast bar, right next to -
the rest of us at the table.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Finishing Touches

I think I may be ready.

For Christmas that is. Not to clean this kitchen...

Seriously though, I think all of my prep work is done. All of the wrapping is done (other than the 2 gifts I'm still waiting to get delivered...not going to hold my breath that they show up!) All of the preparation for tomorrow's dinner is done, including this gorgeous new pumpkin gingerbread trifle that I grabbed from April over on April's Reign. If it tastes half as good as it looks, we'll be in good shape!

I'll be serving dinner for 12 tomorrow, and I am excited and a little nervous. I'm not that great of a cook. Oh sure, I'll give it a good try, but it's not my forte. I'm hoping that a fair amount of Egg Nog with rum will help! Ha! I've got plenty of both on hand if needed.

Tonight, Christmas Eve, we'll be at my parent's house. Thankfully they only live a short 2 miles away. No long haul traveling for us this year. Hubby's parents are both gone now, and especially at this time of year I am very, truly thankful to have my parents healthy and close by. My Mom will make her traditional German dinner for us. Sauerkraut (don't knock it until you've tried it - the real stuff, not the stuff they serve out of a can...), different sausages and cold cuts, fresh baked rolls, among other things, and her traditional German Christmas cookies. It doesn't get much better than that! We'll go to church for our favorite candle light service, then return to their house for opening some presents. We are all looking forward to the evening for different reasons, and I can't wait.

I hope your evening is as special and as perfect as you'd like it to be. Merry Christmas and very Happy Holidays to you all!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Making progress

At last it feels like I am making some progress on things I've been needing to get done. My grocery shopping for our Christmas dinner is done. My Christmas cards were finally sent last week, all 99 of them! The tree is up and the house is as decorated as it's going to get. I've made the table bigger, and gotten out my Christmas dishes, table cloths, place mats and napkins. I've gathered my recipes for the dishes I only make once a year, and my 23 lb. turkey is thawing nicely. To top it off, Hubby and I got the greater majority of our wrapping done last night! We even have a couple of presents under the tree, and so far (knock on wood) Kona has totally ignored everything under the tree - I was convinced that he was going to try to investigate every single new thing...
Yahoo! I feel like I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now, I just have to finish up a couple of little more trip to the dreaded shopping mall...finish wrapping a few things for hubby...and maybe, just maybe, fingers crossed...I'll be DONE!
Dare I say, I beginning to feel a bit....festive!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Snow Day!

This morning we got up bright and early and headed to the mountains, about 60 miles from here. Before we knew it, we were in a "winter wonderland!" It was a special treat for us, and really was a blast. I don't know if I've ever seen the dogs happier!

A "private audience"

Last night, while we were out visiting "Christmas Card Lane," we had the special privilege of getting a private audience with some very sought after people. That's right, we happened to stumble across Santa, Mrs. Claus, and Frosty, all in one place. They were kind enough to take a quick picture with us, and even the dogs were happy to see them!

Christmas Card Lane

There is a neighborhood, not far from where I live, where nearly every house for blocks is decorated with special "Christmas Cards." These aren't your typical little pieces of paper of course, these special "cards" are made mostly from 4'x8' pieces of ply wood, paint and lights. It really is a site to see! It is one of our favorite holiday traditions to take the dogs for a walk in the neighborhood and see all of the incredible, hand painted decorations. Last night, along with some friends, we went on our annual stroll. As always, it was wonderful and such a pleasure to visit. It's so nice to see that even with as tough as things have been with the economy, people are still willing to take the time and spend the money to make this such a wonderful destination for people from miles around to enjoy.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Happy Birthday G-Bop!

Today is Jill's 4th birthday. Jill is a goofy dog. She doesn't answer to her real name. (She answers to G-Bop, Gi-Gi, and Boppie, among others, but not to "Jill".) Jill likes to scratch at the tile on the floor when she is tired. She tries to "fluff it up" and make it more comfortable. It doesn't work. But she never gives up...goofy dog. Jill does NOT like the birthday hat the Pickle made for her...but we made her wear it for a picture anyway.

Happy Birthday Gi-Gi!


There's nothing better than hanging out with friends and cuddling up together on those long, cold winter nights...