Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy 2009!

Saying good-bye to a great 2008 year!

I guess it's time to change the blog look again...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Iliopsoas tendonitis

My trainer in training, Cheryl, told me that what I thought was a hip flexor strain is iliopsoas tendonitis. I looked it up on the web and here is the definition:

Iliopsoas tendonitis is predominately caused by repetitive hip flexion or overuse of the hip area, resulting in inflammation. Athletes at risk include runners, jumpers and participants of sports that require a lot of kicking. Also at risk are those who participate in strength training and weight lifting exercises that require a lot of bending and squatting.

Pain and tenderness are common symptoms; however the onset of pain associated with iliopsoas tendonitis is gradual and tends to build up over an extended period of time.

Yep, that sounds like it. It says that a week of RICE will fix it up. I'm hoping that's true. After three days, it still hurts. I'm hoping it'll be better after New Year's. I have a half-marathon to train for...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another Europe Layout

My hubby was gone most of the day yesterday. First he went surfing with friends then with out with one of the friends to help him pick out a new surfboard.

I took down the Christmas tree and got all the inside decorations packed away. Since my hipflexor continues to hurt, I still can't run. So, with time on my hands, I scrapped another layout!

I used sketches from Pagemap for both of these layouts and then put them together to make a double. The sketch I used for the left side is from the Pagemaps book.

The sketch I used for the right is a sketch I found on the Pagemaps blog. These sketches were great for this layout because my daugher has so many photos of Versailles.

I used Patterned Paper from Fancy Pants and some great paper from Webster's Pages. My friend, Mary, sent me the Webster's Pages paper and I have been saving it for the Versailles layout. It gives the whole thing an old world, romantic feel.

With the left over paper, I made some invitations for my daughter's birthday party:

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Photos

I thought I'd start by sharing our Christmas Eve. We started Christmas Eve at my Aunt and Uncle's house. We had the whole family there... Lots of food:

Ham, pork, ribs, and my specialty: green bean casserole, LOL!
Wonton, hawaiian potato salad, and tofu:
Sushi and fresh vegetables:
... AND lots and lots of dessert!!!

The famous non-violent pinata is a Christmas tradition!

Then the annual Christmas performance. Chris is 15yrs... he did a little bit of eye-rolling about the whole thing, but not a word of complaint. He knows it's all in fun!

Of course Santa takes a break from his nightly rounds to drop in for a visit. Don't tell me you've never seen a Japanese Santa... LOL!

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Santa's been here! You can see Kayle checking out the stockings. She knows there is something there for her. Cheryl asked Chris to wake her up in the morning. As a result, everyone was up by 7am (even Cheryl). Gift highlights this year... I got a square platter from the kids. I have been looking for a square ceramic platter for years. They found a very nice one at Crate and Barrel. I also got a gorilla pod (flexible tripod for my camera). Jim got a new video game and a pocket-sized radio. Chris got a new cellphone (which he's been using since last month) and Cheryl gave him her old iPod nano. Cheryl got an iHome clock and a photo collage for her wall. After a morning of relaxing and playing video games, we went to spend the rest of the day with my mom and dad. Here are some nice photos at their house:

I hope everyone's Christmas was Merry!!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our house to yours! We took this photo at the beach on Thanksgiving. It came out so nice that I used it for our Christmas cards this year. I was going to do a fancy pop-up Christmas card, but this photo looks great just on its own...

And here is my annual Christmas ornament for my parents. I also make one for us and my brother's family. Just think, if I had started these when my daughter was a baby, I'd have a whole tree full!
We have a BIG Christmas Eve get together tonight at my aunt and uncle's house. It's about an hour drive from here, but we are expecting lots and lots of rain tonight, so it may take a lot longer.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas Baking

We started with Chocolate Dipped Pretzels for the neighborhood cookie exchange. We got a big tub of pretzels and a huge bag of chocolate chips from Costco. I melted the chocolate chips with a little Crisco. Then the kids dipped the pretzels, while I followed after them with a bottle of candy sprinkles. We finished 72 pretzels in under 10 minutes. They were a hit at the cookie exchange!

Now on to some serious baking... These nondescript looking loaves have been the hit of the season... Pumpkin Cranberry Bread! It's made with Amish Friendship Bread starter. I already made some for the people at work and as a result have passed out many many bags of starter, along with this recipe. Yesterday, I made a bunch of loaves up for the neighbors.

Pumpkin Cranberry Bread
makes 2 loaves

1 C Amish Friendship Bread starter
3 eggs
½ C oil
½ C pumpkin puree
½ C milk
1 C sugar
2 Tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp. vanilla
1 ½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
2 C flour
1 box instant vanilla pudding
1 C cranberries, coarsely chopped
1 C walnuts, chopped
Grease pans. (Can be made into loaves of muffins) Preheat oven to 325F. Add the ingredients to the starter in order. Pour into pans and bake, about one hour for loaves or 40 minutes for muffins.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Another Christmas Project

This is my newest project. I got the idea from Scrapbook Deals 4U.

The template is from I changed the birdhouse pattern to a doghouse pattern.

This will be a Christmas gift for our neighbors. I took their
Christmas card photo and cut it up... Can you see their dog inside the house? Her name is Jammer (hence the "J" above the door).

Friday, December 19, 2008

Winter Storm in Southern CA

We got our first serious winter storm this week. Here is a pre-storm photo across the lake. You can see all the black clouds rolling in over Saddleback. It was cold here this week, with lows around 40F. With a cold storm like that I'd expect Saddleback to be completely covered with snow.

Yes, it does snow in California! My friend Mary is an elementary school science teacher in Ohio. Her kids were so surprised to find out it snowed in CA! LOL! Cheryl and I went running around the lake and stopped to take some photos. It was beautiful. A lot of people were out today, taking photos, running, walking their dogs, and pushing strollers. I wonder how many people hiding out at the malls missed this...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas Surprises

I'm sure you can guess what these are, so not a big surprise there... but my co-workers will be surprised! We don't give each other presents at Christmas. I thought that since this will be the last time I'm going to see them (because of my lay-off), I'd give them something to remember me by.

I have 20 wrapped candy bars for my friends. I know they aren't very fancy, but I'm sure they'll still be appreciated. I got the idea for this quick and easy surprise from the 12 days of Christmas challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U.

Here's the quote I'm giving out with them:

A day or two ago,
I thought I’d make a treat,
For all my special friends-

A Christmas gift to eat.
My intentions were top notch,
But my schedule would not budge,
Hence, here’s this year’s edition

Of homemade Christmas Fudge!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Christmas Time is Here!

The tree is trimmed, the outside lights are up, the Christmas cards are addressed, the house is decorated, and... drumroll, please ... the Christmas shopping is done! YAHOO! We are ready for Christmas... 9 MORE DAYS!!!

The kids have 4 more days of school until Christmas break. This week for Cheryl is finals week. She is stressed out. Jim is also going to be off next week for two weeks. My last day of work is the 23rd. That gives Jim and the kids a couple days off by themselves before I get off.

I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays so far!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vampire Movie Mania

It's official! The movie of the second book in the Twilight Series, New Moon, is in the works. It'g going to have a new director, so hopefully it will be better than Twilight... here's hoping anyway... It's supposed to be released on November 20, 2009. Cheryl~ I know what I want for my birthday next year!

And the first book of another favorite vampire teen series, House of Night, is being made into a movie! Vampire school is in! (or in case of House of Night, it would be called "Vampyre" School).

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Turkey Trot Photos

Here are some of the professional photos of Chris and me at the Turkey Trot. I'm surprised they got so many in the rain.

Another New Layout

I'm on a roll! I think that this makes 3 challenges I've finished in a row!

This is my newest layout created for the Sketch Challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U. More pictures from Cheryl's Europe trip...

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

We've been Elf'd

I've been seeing these on my friends' blogs and had to try it.
It's lot of laughs! Hahaha!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I was so looking forward to this movie! Cheryl took me yesterday as a birthday treat. (And thank-you for the candy money, Mom!) After all the hype. All the anticipation. All the trailers. I finally saw Twilight... and had mixed feeling about it...

I liked the book, and since I liked the book, I liked the movie (the movie was just like the book). But, I think when a book is made into a movie, the movie should bring something to the work (at least something visual that couldn't be conveyed in writing). With that said, here are my thoughts on the movie:

-> I thought the acting was terrible! Anyone one who didn't read the book would hate this for the terrible acting... very cheesy... The pre-teen girls in front of us started laughing during a tense/dramatic part of the movie. I was very tempted to join them.

-> The vampires are supposed to be beautiful. Their make-up was terrible... they looked like YUCK!

-> Seeing Edward sparkle was the only visual effect that I found worthy of making the book into a movie. The fight scene was not worth the cost of special effects.

Another advantage to making a book into a movie, is that it gets kids/teens excited about reading. It's a shame that the Twilight movie won't make the kids want to run out and read this book, because it is a great book!

Side note:
Edward vs. Harry? If we're talking movies and special effects Harry would win. If we are talking characters, Cheryl and I both pick Edward. At over 100yrs, Edward has already passed his pouty teenage years, LOL!

My son is reading the Twilight series. He's just starting Breaking Dawn. I asked him who is better Edward or Harry. He says Edward; Harry is too mean to his friends.

I asked him how he likes the character of Bella. He said that Bella makes a lot of bad choices and she's very annoying.

Reagarding Jacob and Edward... Chris says, "Jacob is really annoying!"

I guess nothing can be so bad to a teenager as being annoying.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day

Happy Thanksgiving! We were up at 5:30am for the Dana Point Turkey Trot. The Turkey Trot is held every year to benefit the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. They hold a 10K, 5K, and a 1 mile fun run for the kids. You can see the starting line behind us. It's sprinkling... but, not too bad. There were 4000 runners lined up for the 10K.

Who would have thought that so many people would be up so early to run 6.2 miles in the rain... And rain it did! During the 2 mile leg IT POURED!!! As Chris said... it's not a rain kind of pouring, but a standing in the shower kind of pouring. Can you see the rain in the photo? That's Chris in the florescent green shirt and royal blue shorts.

Another runner near me, commented, "Hey, it's a triathlon! This must be the swimming part of the course!" LOL! The streets were flooded (CA streets are not built to handle that much rain so fast), and everyone was soaked.

We slogged on!
Chris came in at 50:11, 16th out of 72 in his age group.
I came in at 54:24, 28th out of 182 in my age group.

After that we came home and I drew the first hot shower... shhhh... don't tell Chris, I cheated... hehehe! Then I started my Thanksgiving baking.

Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin/Cranberry bread and Chocolate Chip Brownies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mallow Bars

I had to send the kids to the market to pickup supplies. They balked when I tried to send them back the second time, and I had to bribe them with money to stop at Starbucks.

I got all the baking and done, and after lunch we headed to my SIL's sister's house in Manhattan Beach. Here is a picture from their back door... isn't it great living in California? I doesn't even look like it was pouring this morning...

We got in a little volleyball, and others in the family were playing touch football. After the wind picked up, my hubby got out the stunt kite.

We had great food, great company, and a great day.
Hope your day was great too!
Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Soccer's Over with a Bang!

With our Galaxy season tickets, we got tickets to the MLS finals. I guess Galaxy was expecting to be in the finals... HA! Not even close!

Anyway the game between Columbus, Crew and New York, Red Bull. Since my friend Mary lives in Ohio, I was cheering for Crew. Chris said that since he didn't have a yellow shirt, he was wearing a red shirt and cheering for Red Bull. Cheryl and Jim didn't care who won... they just wanted to see a high scoring game that went into over-time and penalty kicks. I guess they wanted to get their money's worth, but it's not to be... Crew beat the Red Bull 3-1! Yahoo, go Crew!

Speaking of getting your money's worth... We got our picture taken for free! Didn't it come out nice? I have hardly any photos of the entire family. I used it for the blog header too. It's a nice change...

Now the BANG part of the day... Yep, a fender bender leaving the game. The girl tried to do a U-Turn in the middle of a 4-lane street... from the far right lane. Jim was driving in the center lane next to her. She turned in front of the van and Jim hit her broadside right over the rear wheel. Then she tried to take off! Since the game just got out, there were a lot of police around the Home Depot Center. One policeman who saw the whole thing ran out and stopped her as she took off down the street. No one was hurt. Jim said it's a good thing we were in the van instead of the Corolla or the Matrix.

Since we gave the Corolla to Cheryl, the van is now my car. We'll take it in Friday to be fixed, and I'll be car-less for a while (Jim thinks about a week).

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody!!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It must be Christmas!

It all starts with a red cup! I had my first "red cup" of the season and now I'm ready for the holidays. Planning. Projects. Decorating. Shopping. Trying to remember what radio station plays the 24/7 holiday music.
Nothing like a special treat on my birthday... a hot caramel macchiato or a hot caramel apple cider on a rainy day. I can't believe we are having our first winter storm of the season... wasn't it just 100F last week?

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yep! Happy Birthday to me, today! Chris has the whole week off. He and Cheryl texted me around noon to wish me a Happy Birthday. There are no big birthday plans (that I know of). Just work today for me, and maybe I'll stop at the gym on the way home. Jim's cooking dinner... YAHOO!

This picture was taken at my mom and dad's house last Sunday where I celebrated my birthday with my folks and my brother's family. It's so nice being around family during the holidays!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Layout

Time to use my creative outlet to blow off a little stress. Maybe that's why I haven't scrapped much lately... I haven't been stressed enough, hahaha!

This is my newest layout created for the Sketch Challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U. I'm finally finishing up the photos from Cheryl's Europe trip last year! Maybe I'll get them all done before Chris goes to Europe...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Surf City here we come!

I forgot to mention that Chris and I are signed up for the Huntington Beach Half-Marathon. I went on a 13 mile run today just to see if I could still do it. I did... in 2hrs 6min... that's my fastest time yet!

I did have a lot of stress to work off. I got my lay-off notice yesterday. Not just me, but all the engineering contractors were laid-off. We have 4 more weeks of work, and that will be it. Mike is 7 months away from retirement, so he's not too worried. Sandy told me that it's hard to find a job this time of year... he should know, he's been contracting for over 30 years. So, I will be out hunting for a new job after New Years.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Monday's fun at Izzie's

Izzie (formerly Jane) is such a talented stamper. She makes the most beautiful cards and has the best give-aways. Go check out Monday Fun at Izzie's blog for a chance to win! All you have to do is leave a comment!

Layout to Share

I actually did a layout! It's been a while... This one is for the sketch challenge at Scrapbook Deals 4U (my new hangout). The photos are from Cheryl's trip to Europe (last year). I'm trying to finish this album before next Spring, LOL!