Tuesday, November 27, 2012


Between Veteran's Day and Thanksgiving, there was a few things that happened I didn't want to forget to document. Sounds like it is time for some Ketchup!

- Jake raced for the first time at the BMX track. It was fun to see his competitive side come out when he was actually in a race. He did great! He came 2nd the first heat and 1st the second heat, earning him a spot in the main event. Then for the first half of the main race, he was actually in first place but not being used to going that fast, he hit a jump and fell, landing him in 3rd (last) place. It was disappointing but 3rd place still earns you a trophy:

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- On Saturday of the long weekend, we visited Joe's Grandma Anita and Grandpa Ken and had lunch. I snapped this cute picture of Jadyn exploring the cute garden in their yard. I hadn't put Jadyn in pigtails for awhile:

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On Veteran's Day, we decided to go for a hike up in the park with the Millers. Joe and Johnny decided to ride their bikes from our house all the way up to the trailhead (roughly 25 miles) while Tina and I drove up with the kids. The trail known as Ryan's Mountain is a 1000 feet elevation climb over a 1.5 mile hike and then back down again. It was not the easiest trail. The kids were troopers. Even Jadyn made it all the way up. Joe and Johnny were tired from the bike ride up but in the end we all made it to the top and back down again:

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The next day the kids had their bi-yearly dental checkups and in the first time in a LONG time, we had a cavity free visit. I was shocked but quite pleased.

That Thursday I went with two of my girlfriends to see the last movie in the Twilight Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2 on opening night. Having been over the series for quite some time and given that I haven't really liked the movies, I wasn't expecting much. However, even though the last book was my least favorite, they managed to throw in a surprise and make it a quite enjoyable experience. Not to mention, having a girl's night is always fun.

The only downfall to being out later than usual on a weeknight was that I had volunteered to chaperon Jake's field trip to the 29 Palms Old Schoolhouse and Art Gallery the following day. Even though I was exhausted, it was still a neat experience. I took some pictures of Jake with his class and this quote on the chalkboard in the schoolhouse. The quote really struck a chord with me and it happens to come from one of my favorite authors:

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After a nice weekend that included a family shopping trip, the procurement of a new BMX bike for Jake, lunch out, a Scentsy party with the girls, a BBQ with friends at our house and a trip to the dog park, on Monday of Thanksgiving week, I took the kids to see Wreck it Ralph. With all it's references to video games from "my" generation, I am pretty sure I was more excited to see it then the kids but we all thoroughly enjoyed it. A very cute movie!

That's all the Ketchup I have.

And just like I said, before we know it, it will be Christmastime and now HERE IT IS!

Monday, November 26, 2012


Sometimes life can be hard. Things don't go your way. It is easy to get discouraged and look at the glass as half empty.

But that is what I love about Thanksgiving. Because it is a time to look at the glass as half full. To really take the time to look around you, count your blessings and be thankful for what you have. And our family truly does have so much to be thankful for.

I am thankful for days like Wednesday, where we had the opportunity to spend some time outside in the gloriously warm but still fall-like weather playing at Civic Center Park. The kids rode their bikes and we all fed the ducks.

This cracks me up. Not just that Jake is now doing tricks on his bike but also the police cars in the background (station is next to the park):

Once home, it was time to prepare the dishes I had been asked to bring to Thanksgiving - stuffing and pumpkin cheesecake. Jadyn helped with the cheesecake. She likes the taste of the end result but can't stand the smell of the canned pumpkin:

The old pro working the mixer all by herself:

That night we put the acorns on our family's thankful tree:


 The items on the tree we were thankful for this year included our family, friends, pets, all creatures, the earth, science and art, our health, our home, good and healthy food to eat, the Xbox to play games, the ability to sign up for and play sports and days spent at the park. I also thought it would be fun to include a sample of each of the kids writing as they both did projects at school listing things they were thankful for. Here is Jake's:


 And Jadyn's:


 Thanksgiving day was very nice. The food was good and so was the company. The best part was getting to see Jake and Jadyn get along so well with their cousins, Aidan and Lilly:


When you look at those smiling faces it makes it much easier to see what you have and be thankful for it. And I hope to carry that feeling throughout the holiday season and beyond.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Two birds, One stone

Over the long holiday weekend, we went the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve. This is one of my favorite spots to visit, especially in the fall because it actually looks and feels like fall with all the mature trees and falling leaves. It also has a very pretty and easy nature trail. Anyway, going here was on our fall list as well as playing in fallen leaves. I also took the opportunity to get a good family picture for holiday cards, therefore this one trip accomplished a lot all at once. And it didn't disappoint. It was beautiful and fun and yes, I got the picture I wanted for our cards.

Here are some outtakes and candids from our time there:

I also wanted a picture for our holiday card that included Kuma. I modified an idea I found on Pinterest to take this shot. I didn't end up using it for the card, but I still thought it was worth sharing. The kids ended up staying in bed and reading all of the Polar Express even after I was done taking pictures:

A big shout out to the Miller Family for going with us and taking the family pictures. 

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Just a few small things

Last week was all about Halloween and then of course the Color Run on Saturday. Also, we have been spending 2 to 3 nights a week at the BMX track as Jake builds his confidence and gets ready to race for the first time. Friday night we went to drive-in to see Hotel Transylvania (really cute) and Frankenweenie (blah! just what I expected. Tim Burton is very hit or miss with me). Anyway, we had a big crew - our family including Kuma, the Millers and Cruz and Tara. Glad we got to go now because it's going to be getting too chilly for outdoor nighttime movie watching.

Just a few things I didn't want to get lost in the mix. First, Jake got his picture in the local paper. This is his third time now. The first two times were pictures of him playing baseball for Little League. This time it was for jumping in the pool at the Pumpkin Splash. Pretty funny and pretty cool:

Also, I just had to share this super cute picture of Jake with the Miller boys. This was Saturday before all us adults left Joe with the kids to go down to the Color Run. They all had on the same exact shirts:

Very low-key 4 day weekend ahead, short school week next week and then the kids will be off the week of Thanksgiving. October flew by and I have a feeling November is about to do the same thing. Christmastime will be here before we know it!

Monday, November 5, 2012

The Color Run San Diego

It's been 18 months since I have participated in an organized race and although the Color Run was not timed and more for fun, it was exactly the motivation I needed to get back into running. I worked myself back up to 3 miles using the Couch to 5K program and by Saturday, I felt ready.

Even better, I had a great group of friends to make the experience even more fun - race veteran Tara and newbies Shami, Tina and her husband Johnny. We even had fun on the drive down to San Diego!

And for those of you who may not be familiar, the idea of the color run is to start the race wearing mostly white, getting doused in a particular color for each kilometer of the race known as color zones and finishing the race looking like a rainbow threw up on you.

Here we are before:

At the start line:

Seriously, look at ALL the people at this event:

We were team Leg Warmers! Not the best decision given that it ended up being in the high 70's:

During the race - been through pink, yellow, orange and getting ready for blue:

And after:

The grand finale is the "color festival" they have every 15 minutes at the finish line, which produces this cool color cloud:

Like I said, the whole thing was a blast:

So what's next? Well my inaugural and only straight 5K race happened in February 2011 at the Palm Springs half marathon and 5K so I am looking at signing up to run it again in 2013 with the goal of improving my time. I would also like to eventually be able to run a 10K but I am not making any promises beyond that. Right now I am still coming down from the high of participating in an organized running event again as well as working on removing the last traces of color that still remain two days later.

And a big ole thank you to the hubby, who stayed home with our kids, Johnny and Tina's two boys and Kuma and Harley so that we could all spend the day down in San Diego for the run.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Tricks and Treats Version 2012

It is always a trick to get a good picture of both kids, especially when they are excited to get to an event, dressed up for the said event and already hopped up on candy. However, it is always a treat to have a good picture of the kids together (this one before the Flashlight Scramble Friday night):

It can be a trick to find time to spend with friends who live the next few towns over but it is always a treat when we get together, this time at their church's annual trunk-or-treat festivities on Tuesday. Here is the magical (I have been instructed to add to her title) blossom fairy Jadyn with strawberry butterfly Sariah:

And Special Forces Jake with one of his oldest and dearest friends, the soccer player Sam:

Talk about a trick! Our friends Cruz and Tara LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Halloween. They go all out with decorations and costumes every year. Well, they were in D.C this past weekend to run the Marine Corps Marathon and got stuck due to flight delays caused by Sandy. They were so bummed. We had a whole Addams family theme prepared. They were going to be Morticia and Gomez, Joe was going as Uncle Fester and I was going to be Wednesday. With our original plans scrapped, we stepped in to make sure their hard work was not wasted. We went to their house, turned on all the fog machines, strobe lights, motion-sensored bats and spiders, rising corpse, lights, blinking eyes and whatever other spooky decoration I am forgetting and got ready for the trick-or-treaters. It was such a treat!

An estimated 1525 pieces of candy ready to be passed out:

All the decorations were ready. Jadyn was frightened. Could we do the same to our trick or treaters?:

Jake was positioned next to the pop-up zombie corpse. It may be a trick to scare people (he made at least 3 kids cry this year, oops!) but it is always a treat to hear people asking each other if Jake is a real person or part of the decor:

And who is that passing out candy? Why it is Uncle Fester himself! It was a treat to see Joe dress up this year. It will be a trick to take family pictures for holiday cards seeing as he shaved his head for his costume:

Jadyn and our neighbor Adriana also helped a ton passing out candy:

It was a treat for me to finally dress up like I was going to a masquerade ball. It's something I have always wanted to do. It was a trick however, to find out that unbeknownst to me, I apparently looked like I was dressed as the main character in the 50 Shades of Grey book series (I haven't read them nor do I plan to). Oops again!

Anyway, here is the family at the end of a long and fun night:

Although our family was able to have an enjoyable and festive Halloween, I know a lot of people are dealing with the aftermath of the storm and lots of places delayed or canceled trick or treating. My heart goes out to those that have been affected and my thoughts are with you.