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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Unwrapped

365 days of Chuck Norris. Not my choice. Be prepared. There is talk of creating a Facebook page showing a new page each day. Pray it doesn't happen.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Moments in Time

I'm blessed to have some really talented friends.  As friends go, I'm pretty spoiled in general.

My great friend, Antonia, took our family on once again to take some pictures.   How can we always get the weather wrong?  Rainy and cloudy two years ago and super windy this year, but Antonia made it work.  A true miracle worker.


It's amazing how life works, when you think about it.  I mean, when Sean and I met we didn't have any intention of making a life together and creating these.......


......and yet here we are.  And it's not all rosy and most of the time life is a real challenge.  Still, we are getting it done together........



Life is a tough road.  I'm tired almost all of the time.  Some things have not worked out the way I thought they would.  I am learning lessons that I never thought I would learn.  But I love my life......mostly because of the people in these pictures.

They are my people.  My family.  My boys.  My love.  



Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Embracing the Gray

Spoiler Alert:  This is about gray hair.  My gray hair.  And those who know me know that I don't have much of it, but too bad.......this is my blog and I can write whatever I want.  This is not a contest.  If you have more gray hair than me, bummer for you.  Write your own blog about it.  I say this in all love :)


Am I Asian enough to pull this off in 25 years?


For the last 20 years I've sort of kept a secret.  It's not that I have anything to hide.  You know, sometimes you can do things and the world would never know about it unless  you spill the beans.

I'm spilling the beans.

For the last 20 years, I've been pulling out the few gray hairs that I have.  I'm sure there are no more than 10 to 20 of them.

Don't be grossed out or self righteous about it.  Some of you do it too.

Now I've learned a few things about this pulling gray hair business.

1.  They do grow back.
2.  The number of gray hairs do not multiply from said pulling.
3.  You do not go bald from pulling a few here and there.
4.  This is NOT and indicator of OCD.  Don't go there.

So I made a decision about a month ago.  No more pulling.  That's right.  Embrace the gray.  Let it grow.  I still don't have much.  I can color if I want, but that's not something I would do specifically due to the lighter strands growing in.  Serious.

I have all this gray coming in at about an inch high now and of course this means they pretty much stand straight up.  But it's only 10 to 20 strands.  No more than that.

I can do this............proudly.........

Yeah.  Too Much Information today.  Sorry.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Love It When Mom Works Late

I would love to tell you that there comes a collective groan when I announce I have to work late. Alas, the cheers come forth because "Fun Dad" always comes through with $5 Little Caesars pizza and Big Gulps on those nights. Who needs Mom? We got pizza and soda. Let her work late ALL the time.

So the other day I posted the nasty Pizza Hut flyer. There was no going back. It had to be calendared.



And so it came to pass that Sean and the boys did indeed dine on Hot Dog Stuffed Crust Pizza and Big Gulps.




I passed. It's gross.


How To Eat a Giant Gummy Bear




At some point decapitating and slicing are your best option.



Saturday, November 3, 2012

More Jordan

He's getting in to this guitar thing.  This was an assignment  for class.  Perform in front of the other students.  He thought he'd sing too.

.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Score!!!!

Who gives giant gummy bears for Halloween treats? They are heavy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LEGO Love


LEGO Take and Make was yesterday at the local ToysRUs so Jackson and I went down for some free LEGO swag.  The Dracula was the main hit and we needed to wait while the staff bundled more packages together.

We did have to go back to the store to get an extra arm that they neglected to add, but it's LEGO......and Dracula.  You go back to get the piece.  

I love this!!  It's not the LEGO from my childhood.  I thought I would add my top 10 I LOVE LEGO list today.

1.  I think we instinctively like to build even if we (me) suck at it.
2.  When the kids were little, Sean made LEGO creations that moved.  I thought that was hot.
3.  LEGO never goes out of style.  Retro - yes, but still works with the new stuff.
4.  I can buy my 30+ year old brother LEGO and he would be happy.......mostly because of......
5.  Star Wars - The Best.
6.  Because of #'s 4 and 5, I know that I can always go to LEGO for gifts for my grown sons.
7.  They do have some girly LEGO.  Not my thing, but if girls want to build something pretty, you can get flowers and pink. Equal opportunity.  If #5 is up your alley, then you may be wife material.
8.  The store.  Have you been to one?  The one at Disneyland?
9.  LEGO men.  Jared loves them.  He lines them up.  Plays for hours. 
10. Probably the only "toy" that will be saved to use for future generations.  It's expensive, but an investment.

Just don't let your dog eat it.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

An Attempt to Party

Last weekend, Jared went to a party.  A teenage party.

Originally only Jordan was going and somehow Jared got an invite too.  I was super nervous/excited about it.  First, many of the kids involved with this event were actually Jared's age and in his classes at school.  I felt a little sad that this party was going on and that Jordan was invited over the younger brother classmate.  The reason behind that has more to do with girls and the boys they like, but you catch my drift, right. So when I heard that Jared was also invited..........there were some smiles.

Jordan was fine with Jared coming along and even was agreeable to helping him navigate the world of social interaction party style.  Jared, upon hearing about the invite, eagerly and hesitantly said he would go.  A party.  Socializing.  Big stuff.

He tried to go to the party with his Sudoku book and the novel he is currently writing.  Yeah.  I made him leave those at home.  I knew it would be a challenge for him, but I figured if he didn't have a melt down the night would be a success.

He lasted two hours.  No melt downs.  He did try to get on a computer to play games and we did find him upstairs hanging with the parents.  He was surprised to see Sean and I when we picked him up.  He didn't want to leave, but we didn't want the grown ups looking after him.

I think it was an overall success.  We learned some things.  It's not a comfortable environment for him.  We actually knew that, but I think it's good that he stretch that comfort zone every now and then.  He learned that being social in that setting is hard, and he likes the peace that comes from being on his own.  He learned what happens at parties - at least the ones we'd let him go to.  Jordan learned what Jared can handle in a major social situation.

I'd like to see how he does when the party is at our house.  He and Jordan can host together.  That way if Jared reaches his limit, he can disappear and there is still a host.

I learned that I don't have to get overly distressed if Jared's social life is not as active as the other boys.  It's not always his thing and he's okay with that.


Hmmm.....

Is it just me or is this kind of gross?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Week in the Life.......

I was off on holidays last week and thoroughly enjoyed the concept of "stay-at-home-mom-ness".  By Friday I was getting into a groove and not worried about "the office".  Too bad I had to be back by Monday.  Re-entry pretty much sucked.

What a great week it was.  I got to have lunch with a couple of my peeps.  One of them is having a birthday tomorrow - the major birthday kind of birthdays - in a tropical place, and so it was nice to visit before she left.

Thursday was a big day.  My parents left for Japan and the rest of us went to Calgary to visit the temple open house.  My day started e-a-r-l-y.  Not kidding.  4 am kind of early.

So the sad part.......

My glasses fell onto the driveway in the wee hours of the morning as we pulled out to drop my parents off at the airport.  So if you were curious which would win - red Prius vs. red glasses - the car won.  

Slightly later in the wee hours of the morning, Sean and the boys and I were on our way to Calgary.  The temple was lovely, but I doubt there would ever be one I would consider not lovely.  We did manage to forget to take a picture as a family there.  Typical of us really.  

The happy part.......

We took the boys to Cross Iron Mills just outside of Calgary for lunch and some "shopping".  I wanted to depress James by taking him to a music store so he could find a bunch of stuff he can't afford.  What we did find was an excellent deal for an electric/acoustic guitar with a hard case.  Jordan is learning that he can love playing the guitar even if James does too.  He's been wanting his own and this is what we found.  So Merry Christmas, Jordan.  With love from your parents and Auntie Diane.  What a happy boy we had!!  

Friday was baking afternoon for James and some friends.  He got a recipe for spiced pumpkin cookies, which were rather yummy really, and they got to work.
If it isn't obvious, the tray closest to the wall was done by a girl.  The weird shaped ones in the front belong to James.  Good thing they tasted all the same.  

To cap off the baking theme......James is on a bit of a roll......he wanted to try making a souffle called a Salzburger Nockerl.  Odd stuff really.  Tomorrow we are making a lemon souffle.  I think he will like it better.
He really did a great job.  Chicks dig a guy that knows his way around a kitchen and it won't hurt his chances at being the greatest mission companion ever!!!!




Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Little Bit of Jordan



We will see if this works.  I am not good at uploading videos.  Just a little Jordan for y'all.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Limits of the Mind

Over the last few years I have blogged about Jared on another blog because I was finding that this one, the one for me and the family, was getting overrun with stories of him.  I felt he was crowding us out, or at least his brothers.

Now I struggle with writing there, because our daily adventures - Autism or not - belong to our family.  I have debated how to record and share without again, monopolizing this blog with Autism.  It is only one facet to Jared and to our family.  We are more that just Autism.

What do you think?

Tonight as Jared was talking about how he gets ideas and if he has to wait to get them out they disappear.  He said his mind was a low security jail.  Sometimes it was hard for ideas to get out (get in too, I might add).  All I could think was what a brilliant way to describe that mind of his.  He articulated it in such an easy way to understand, yet I don't think he has a clue that he did.

He continues to amaze me in all the trials.  Love that boy!!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ain't He Pretty!!




Distraction

Our run was going so well until we smelled that fresh baked aroma wafting thought the crisp morning air and I realized I had my debit card with me.

Yeah. You can't run with a shopping bag.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fun and Games

Don't know what this is called but it has to do with guessing what time the Mom (aka. Me) will get out of the church building and into the car - door closed.

Circled is the winner.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Stuff

It's a Sunday afternoon.  My back is forcing me almost immobile, but my fingers still work.  I came across two things I thought I would share.


I found this on Pinterest this morning.  With all I do whether it's a "need to" or a "want to", this reminds me to do my best to keep my priorities straight and that the act of being busy should never be worn with pride or define what my self worth is. 


I thought there was some good advice in there. 

That's all.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Nap time

Even when your baby is giant, it's nice to know they can still be sweet and lovely when sleeping.

Breath, perhaps not as sweet.  Don't know.  I didn't get that close.

Now the big question.  Did he manage to not drop his watch during his nap?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Birthday Trip to Calgary


Jared turned 13 last weekend.  Life was kind of busy and he was not sure what he wanted to do with all the birthday moola he was getting.  So Grandma and Grandpa had us over for birthday pizza and made his favorite......Hawaiian without the ham.....

Jared is obsessed with Lego men.  He has about 50 already, which obviously is not enough.  So this weekend we drove up to Calgary to visit the Lego Store.  Sean, Jared, Jackson and I.  

I must say the staff at the Lego Store are super, duper happy - friendly.  Lego must bring immense joy.  Perhaps I should work there.......

My plan was to ditch Sean and the kids and do my own planned shopping in order to utilize our limited time. I figured they would take about an hour and I had 30 minutes of my own shopping (I had a list) and I would still have time to see all the amazing things the world of Lego had to offer.  

My first store left me with two heavy shopping bags, but what else do you do at Bath and Body Works?  I returned to Lego "mania" to drop my bags off with Sean only to discover they were done.  Done??  10 minutes and done?  I don't drive 2 hours for that garbage.  So I made them stay there for another 20 minutes so I could get my power shopping finished and they could have a chance to not have buyer's remorse, blah, blah, blah.

Jared's goal for shopping was to add significantly to his collection of Lego men.  I figured he would indeed use ALL his cash for that very purpose.....and I should add.....Sean and I bought him clothes for his birthday.  Completely and utterly boring and Jared let me know that.  So I promised him that if he let us buy the clothes then he could spend his birthday money on anything he wanted and I would shut my mouth.  

I really should think things through before I promise such things.  Silly girl.

In the end, he spent $60 on a Lego chess set and he was thrilled.  I was thrilled.  It was a two fold accomplishment.  First, he loves chess.  Second, it comes with 32 Lego men!!!!  Score!!!! Jared was completely over the moon with this find.  He was done.  I was happy because now he has money in his savings account again.  

We went to a Ramen restaurant in Calgary that my parents recommended.  There are few things about Japan that I miss more than a good Ramen.  I haven't had a good one in 25 years.  Off we went after the Lego triumph.  As soon as I walked in the door,  I smelled the smell and the excitement grew.  It smelled like a Ramen shop.  For boys raised on Ichiban, the "real stuff" didn't cut it as much as it did for the grown ups.  Sean and I will return again to try other flavors.  Mine was certainly better than theirs.  I felt bad because Sean made me order for everyone.  Next time......

The day ended with Ikea, of course, and we were happy to be inside as a thunder storm swept over Calgary just as we walked through the doors.  I would not have wanted to drive in it.  It was loud, but the joy that is Ikea is enough to set all that aside. 

It was a great day.  Number three is a teenager now.  One to go.  I noticed today that Jared has grown about 3 inches in the last few months.  It was in the spring that he was my height and as we stood by each other in front of a mirror today, I was surprised to see how he is starting to tower over me. 

I need to get my high heels back on!!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Aaaand We Get to Disney

It's a little embarassing that we are almost two months past our Disney vacation and I haven't blogged about it.  It was a great trip and I think the sad thing about great trips is that getting back to real life relegates those moments to almost dreamlike states.  Did it really happen?

This trip was a gift from my sister who thought it would be fun to play with the boys all together for what may be the last time.  With James heading into graduation year, the boys are growing up and time feels like it's running out.  Due to scheduling, Sean stayed home to work and I flew out to CA to meet my sis.

First big lesson:  (and I posted this)......four growing boys and a mom in a Honda Civic full of luggage is less than ideal for a 2.5 hour drive to the airport.  Comical?  Yes.  You think small children get under each other's skin?  Take my boys.  Try it.  I dare you.

I especially liked the discussions about how quickly you would fall to the earth if you fell out of the plane.  There was a calculator involved.



Second big lesson:  Figure out the camera locations and timing on certain rides.  You know, Space Mountain, California Screamin', Splash Mountain......If you practice enough you can get an awesome picture without pre-planning.








Third big lesson:  You can be the OLDEST children in line for pictures with Winnie and his pals.  No one stares at you funny.

Fourth big lesson:  You should go to the LEGO Store regardless of whether or not you like the stuff. 

Fifth big lesson:  Go have a Disney breakfast.  It's not just for the little kids and the Mickey waffles are awesome!!!!! Just ask my sis.

Sixth big lesson:  Ride safely.


Seventh big lesson:  Actually, I don't have one......but Spongebob is somewhat of an icon.

Eighth big lesson:  If you can go to the beach then go.  Real sand.  Almost not cold water.  Real sand.  First time ever for us.  Obviously we lived near the ocean in Victoria, but there's no comparison.


Nineth big lesson:  Old guys skateboard and surf.  I know......scandalous.  They might even be older than me.  How is that possible?

Tenth big lesson:  Drink in the moments!!  Take every minute and make the most of it.  Cherish the memories.
Eleventh big lesson:  Sometimes love means riding California Screamin' twice after a Disney breakfast even if you hate rollercoasters.  I really love my boys.

Diane, you spoiled us rotten and we so appreciate your generosity.  We made so many memories.  James discovered Target.  Jordan survived limited texting for 5 days.  Jared mastered Space Mountain and all sorts of other stomach turning rides.  Jackson came home with the most cash left over because he is just plain sensible.  I survived driving in California and only nearly killed us all once.

Next time we need to try Bubba Gumps.  I want a t-shirt.





Saturday, June 30, 2012

Family Activities

You love them, right?  Some don't want to go because they make plans with friends.  Some would rather work around the house.  How easy it would be to give up and just stay home?

Not for me.  Not this year.  First trip to Waterton last year I let Jordan stay home.  This year it wasn't happening, regardless of him getting permission from Sean to go to a movie in the afternoon.

The remedy?  We just leave and hour and a half earlier.  That's right.  Get out of bed and into the car.  Mama ran at 6am, hit the farmer's market for cherries and raspberries and a chocolate roll, and is ready for a hike.  9am and we are out the door.

So off we went to Waterton to do our annual Bears Hump hike and lunch.  We switched up lunch this year and went to Waterton Pizza, which is somewhat expensive but so yummy!!

Jordan still got to his movie.  I still got a nap when I got home.  The knees are a little tender, but I'm just happy to have dragged the fam out for some time together.


Men in Black 1 and 2 were on the agenda for tonight.  I can't believe the boys had not seen either of them yet.  Now they are ready for 3.  

The boys are growing up and our opportunities to be together dwindle.  Thank you for making the effort.  I don't want our memories of family time to be only in front of the television.  We don't have time to do a lot, but let's make the time we have worthwhile!!


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Getting Around to Disney......

I loaded my pics to Sean's computer and I hate going to the basement where his office is.  THUS the Disney blog is late in coming, but I couldn't resist posting this picture.  No pre planning.  This was a pure in sync moment.