Monday, January 25, 2010

Snow Day

We took off to the mountains this past weekend.  Just a two hour drive northeast from San Diego, you find snow.

Sam barely remembers seeing snow a few years ago and Elise doesn't remember at all.
She was still just learning how to walk the last time we drove to see snow.

Needless to say, this was an exciting weekend.
We drove almost two hours and just as we were about 7 miles from Lake Arrowhead (our destination), it appeared time to put the chains on our tires.  The roads weren't that bad but we (I) didn't want to be the idiot family in the minivan who spun out of control on the ice.  Keith agreed better safe than sorry and he put the chains on and off we went.  We drove for one more mile and then suddenly stopped in a line of cars.  We spent about 25 minutes inching our way up to the CHP checkpoint.  I was hoping they were just inspecting the chains but nope, they decided to close the mountain and only locals could drive ahead. (We missed the open roads by about ten minutes...the time it took us to put those chains on!) The cop made us turn around.  When I asked if there were any detours available he looked at me completely irritated and sternly said, "LOCALS ONLY!"
Whatever...he was cranky and I was not letting him ruin our special one night snow adventure weekend!  We turned around and I already had my trustee iPhone turned on to my google maps feature.  I found us some snowy backroads to a small mountain town called Crestline with a place called The Loose Caboose Cafe. I hoped the place would be open and the food would be edible so we could eat lunch and figure out our next step.  Did I mention it was almost 1:00 by now and I had been feeding Sam and Elise M&M's for the last hour?  I am such a good mom.  ;-)

The very nice waitress at the Loose Caboose let us use their phone since AT&T does not have phone service in Crestline (Verizon does).  I called the Lake Arrowhead resort and told them our travel issues and they told me they heard that the roads just opened!  Keith was doubtful.  The very nice waitress gave us an alternate route to try just in case.
We drove on some sketchy unplowed roads but Keith is a confident and careful snow driver so I had no worries at all about making it to our destination.  We did get stopped one more time and almost did not make it to our detour route but we got a little tricky and made our way carefully to the resort.  We found out later that the roads never opened - they remained closed for the rest of the day.
We got the snow gear on the kids and headed out to play.  They loved it!

Elise loved making snowballs.

And loved chucking those snowballs at her Mommy and Daddy.

Sam quickly learned that the snow feels very cold on your face when you dive head first into a pile of it.

This picture cracks me up because I think it looks like Keith just hucked a huge snowball at Sam...really that was Sam attempting to throw that chunk of snow at Keith.

When we first checked in to the hotel our room had a lovely view of the parking lot...
I decided to ask for a free upgrade and they moved us to a room with a view of the lake!

Just a random adorable dog we saw playing in the snow.

So we had a great time playing, a good dinner at the hotel and enjoyed the hot tub with the kids before going to bed.  I was so proud of myself for planning a spur of the moment snow adventure and that we made it to the resort despite the road closure.
Then we woke up the next morning and everyone was cranky.
We had a lot of this...

from both Sam and Elise and Mommy and Daddy.
There is nothing better than sleeping in your own bed.

We walked to breakfast, played in the snow and headed home.
Our drive home was quick and painless and we made it in time to watch the playoff games and relax.

Saturday made the cranky Sunday morning worth it...I think. was worth it!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Angry Mama

I made this mama bird very angry today.  I don't blame her for being pissed at me.
I went next door to ask my cute little 13 year old neighbor if she could babysit for me tomorrow night.  While waiting at the door, I noticed this...

Actually, I noticed the mama bird sitting there...I didn't even notice the nest at first...I thought it was just a hummingbird sitting very still hiding from the rain.  I ran home to grab my camera.  When I returned, the bird was gone.  That is when I noticed the nest.

I held my camera up high and tried to aim it to the inside of the nest so I could see what was inside.

But I could not get my camera to focus.  I tried again.

Darn!  This is when Mama came back and started cursing me out.  And flapping her wings fiercly making the humming sound as loud as she could.
I tried to be quick and I pulled the branch carefully down so I could take my picture and get out of her way.  Then I heard a little snap.
I felt so guilty...the weak little branch started to I was freaking out because I did not want to be responsible for the destruction of this perfect little nest.
Mama bird was cursing even louder.
I carefully bent another branch under this one for temporary support and ran home for some duct tape.

I secured the branch.  And this time I brought a step stool.
Look at this little precious site.

Mama bird wasn't yelling at me anymore.  I think she could sense my guilt and knew I was trying to make it right.  She hung out at the tree behind me while I mended the branch.

I am happy to report that she is back in her nest keeping those little babies warm.
Thank God.  I would not have been able to live with myself if I ruined that little nest.

Wonder what the neighbors will think when they get home and see the duct tape on their tree and an apology note from me on the door.  Not one of my better moments!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Rain is a novelty around here so we have really been enjoying these storms.  After almost 3 and half years, Elise has finally witnessed her first rainbow.

She loved it! 
The last time I have a picture from a rainy day around here was from November of 2008.  That day, Elise quickly took all her clothes off and went running in the rain and jumping in puddles in the backyard. 
This girl is a character.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


A few months ago Sam decided we needed to call him by his full name, Samuel.  I am still getting used to this.  He will always be Sam to me.  Anyway, Samuel is learning to read.  This makes me super proud and really excited.  He gets a book bag from school every day with a new book for him to read to me.  Amazing what 5 months in Kindergarten has done for this boy.  I love watching him learn.  I love hearing him tell me that he is "super proud" of himself for reading. 
He just read to me a book called "The Bee."  When he finished reading he said, "Mommy, if you saw me read "The Goat" today, you would not believe it.  You would probably die because I read it so easy and with no help! I'm serious, Mommy, you would not believe."

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It is Papa's birthday tomorrow.
I thought I would share a few thoughts about what I love about Papa.

I love that he married Curly and made Keith.
I love that when he hears a good singer on American Idol he will often use the word "Phenomenal" to describe the person's voice.
I love that when he speaks of any one of his children, he speaks with total pride and with genuine admiration. 
I love that when he is winning a card game he laughs so hard that he goes into vapor lock.
I love that he showers me with compliments.
I love that he enjoys singing Karaoke with me.
I love his beef stroganoff.
I think is is funny that when he is done with a conversation on the phone he just hangs up without saying goodbye.
I love that although he has been faced with struggles in his life, he keeps his head high and his words positive.
I like that he openly talks with us about his Parkinson's diagnosis.
I admire that he has never tasted a drop of alcohol.
I love his stories about his days in the secret service.
I like his twisted kid songs.
I share in his love for sweets.
I am excited that he and Curly just purchased a home about 3 miles from us so we will be enjoying their company more often.

Happy Birthday Papa!!

Thanks for spending the holidays with us and for buying a house right down the road.  Can't wait til closing!