Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Car Party! Vroom!

Hooray for Gavin!  My beautiful baby nephew turned ONE!  Isn't he just the cutest?

He is a really happy little guy who is so much fun to be around.  He likes everybody and gives big sloppy hugs and kisses.  He has a special fondness for anything that he can roll, so in honor of this very special occasion I was delighted to host a car themed birthday party for him!

There are lots of fun things to do when it's a car party!

I made some fabric flag banners:  Blue, green, red, yellow, teal, and black and white checkered.

(I always forget to get pictures when I am rushing around but here is the treats and toys buffet after it had been hit up.)  I thought the pool floatie tire on the wall was a nice touch!  The big race car checks look so cute with all of the other bright colors.

I knocked myself out on these oreo wheels (haha).  
But I also made some on sticks dipped in chocolate that were a hit.

I Painted a few simple car pictures for decorations.

These little wooden shaped cars were unpainted at the dollar tree, a little paint and vroom!  I Loved these gas pumps I found so much...I couldn't resist!

We had a few fun games for the toddler crowd.  The babies liked playing with the magnetic board and peeling the tic tac tow vehicles on and off the velcro.  A sticky dart game and a tire bean bag toss turned out to be cute decorations.

I missed getting any pictures of the towering stack of cupcakes I had baked, but Gavins mommy (my niece) Melody made him the most adorable nascar teddy bear cake!
Didn't it turn out cute?

Happy 1st Birthday Sweet Baby Boy!

Becky's CD Release Concert

Hooray for Becky!  My daughter Becky had her CD release concert on the 5th of June and she did an amazing  job.  Peter Dobson, Sue Cross, and Michael Fickling all played with her in the concert and all of them play on the CD: Put Up Your Dukes by Becky Sanders. They were fantastic.   It was another lovely proud parent moment for me to get to go watch her.   I love to see her perform, and this performance with the band was especially fun.   Her cute stage presence and little bits of comedic chatter made for an all around entertaining performance.  I am super proud of that girl.  And now she finally has the CD up for sale and it is on  I-tunes and CD Baby, so Yeah!  You go baby girl!  And hooray for me.....I spawned that!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Ooops the post that didn't post...Easter 2011

(The devine Miss Jaina Rocks the Party at Easter)

Is there anything more precious
Than little girls in dresses
When they celebrate spring
By deciding to sing?

With the nozzle for a hose
She strikes a rockstar pose
And the whole world's a stage
When it's spring and four's your age!

(I have such cute videos of Jaina that day but I couldn't get them to upload :-(.....maybe one day)

Plus more fun!

 Easter Egg Hunt!

 Rubber Ducky Races!

Becky Loads up in the morning!

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's In A Name?

    What’s in a name?  My dog is about to turn 16 years old. Her name is Mischief, and she has lived up to it fully.  With every transgression, chewing something up, accidents where they shouldn’t have happened, my sister would give me a hard time about it, ”well what do you expect you named her Mischief.”  Then several years later she got a puppy, she named her Lacy.  The first time she left her home alone in her puppy crate, the puppy got out and my sister came home to find that she had shredded her antique lace tablecloth, Lacy indeed!  
    It’s always a little funny when someones name matches their occupation or hobby.  I had a professor in college by the name of Dr Sailor with a great big sailboat that he was kind enough to take a big group of us out on one day.  You see people with funny names every once in a while; Dr Smiley who’s a dentist, the unfortunately named medical doctor, Dr Kwak.
A couple of nights ago the promo announcement for the CBS evening news made me laugh so hard I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote it down verbatim.  The newscaster announced:  “He said he did it!  New developments in the Weiner scandal, tonight at 11:00!”   Cracked me up!  Yeah he even managed to get elected to congress with a name like Weiner, but the poor guy never really had a chance!  Also these are trying times to be a newscaster.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Dolphins and Memories of Jenny

     I enjoyed a beautiful walk on Aliso Creek Beach this afternoon.  It was the kind of spontaneous summer moment that leaves you slogging home in an uncomfortable pair of soaking wet sand filled blue jeans with a slight sunburn, but it was a beautiful lovely moment none the less.  I was blessed to be able to watch a dolphin play in the water very close to the shore once again.  This has become a familiar sight to me when I am at the beach; I almost always see dolphins if I keep my eyes peeled.  This wasn’t always the case.  Prior to a few years ago I can only think of two times that I ever saw dolphins in all the years of going to the beach. I see them now and they make me happy and make me think of my sister Jenny. 

  It doesn’t take much for me to think of Jenny, she has been gone for 6 years now this June and I think of her and miss her all of the time.  Jenny loved the ocean and the beach communities.  She had a lot of friends in Laguna Beach and grew up playing guitar and singing in many of the local bars and restaurants in the beach areas.  She loved to walk on the beaches and body surf in the waves.  One of the last special moments that I had with her we spent at the beach.  Jenny had a very brief and intense battle with Cancer.  Her first round of chemo caused her to immediately gain 30 pounds of extra fluid weight and she was too weak to go home from the hospital so she wound up in a rehab hospital for 3 weeks.  She only had a couple of decent days home before she had to go back for the next round of chemo, but on one of those days I grabbed her and took her down to cruise the beaches.  We got out down at Aliso Creek beach and it was a chore for her to lift her leg high enough to step up on the curb, but she laughed about it.  I just watched the light come back into her while we were there as she looked out at her special ocean free for a little while from the constant reminder of being ill that being cooped up causes.  I’ve always felt good that we had that special day together;  it gave me such a nice memory to hold onto when she didn’t make it back home from the hospital after the next round of Chemo.  My daughter Becky wrote a beautiful song in memory of her and one of the lines in the song is  “A dolphin swims in the tranquil sea, and he feels free and I think of you.”

  Later that summer one of my nieces was visiting from Pennsylvania and I took her down to Laguna Beach, as Jenny had done with her on one of her last visits.  My mind was very much on Jenny as we walked along the shore and in my head I started talking to her and silently saying that I would sure like a sign to know that everything is ok if at all possible.  The strangest thing happened a little bit later.  An entire pod of dolphins showed up in the crashing waves along the shore.  I have never seen dolphins close in like that in the waves, and in fact I was getting a little nervous like maybe they were going to beach themselves and I would have to go in and push them back in.  It really was the strangest thing I have ever seen.  They literally came up to us about as close as they could be, 7 or 8 of them.  I had just been asking for some kind of a sign and then that happened almost immediately and I feel like I got what I was asking for!  Not only that but as I said before I see dolphins now almost every time I go to the ocean.  One was swimming up inside the Dana Point harbor one day when I walked there which was really unusual.  Maybe dolphins are just way more prevalent around here these days and it all can just be explained scientifically away, but my heart feels differently.  I go to the beach much more frequently these days, and I see dolphins, and I think about my beautiful sister.