Happy 2017

Well it has been quite some time since I have taken time to write. What is nice is that it doesn’t plague me as a burden so I don’t feel guilty, I just don’t have time. But today I decided it was the day- mostly because we have a break from our home fix-up projects because my husband has what he calls “some African virus” (I would call it a cold). At least we know it’s not Ebola- blood is not oozing from all his orifices…yet. The way he’s handled it, you’d think it was Ebola.

As we speak, Adrian III is taking his national EMT certification test. He passed all the practice exams, and ALERT requires a higher passing test grade than NREMT does, so I think he’ll do well. He leaves for Texas this Saturday, and assuming there are no injuries, he won’t be home until May.

Hailey and Mike are the ever happy newlywed couple. Mike has been working for us on home improvement projects with Adrian III while applying for new jobs. Funny, we’ve seen Hailey more lately. Hmmm. We’ve been bugging them for a grandchild, but their standard answer is, “Well, you’d better pray!” To which I always reply, “Oh, I have been!” They feel outnumbered. Feel free to outnumber them with me.

So, according to our Christmas card announcement, we are expecting baby 11 in July. A bit sooner than I would have picked, but a blessing none the less. Israel and this baby will be 16 months apart (J’onn & Cory are the closest- 15 months apart). I’m always open to the Lord’s will in my life for babies, but I kind of have to blame Israel on this one. He refused to nurse past six months. As in- screamed like I was torturing him when I tried to nurse him. It definitely hurt my feelings! 😉 Well, it didn’t take long after I stopped nursing him to make him an older brother.

People ask if I feel like I know what sex it is. All I can say is that I have been “boy sick” rather than “girl sick.” For example, Israel was the first baby since Tristan that I didn’t “know” what I was having when I went in for the 20 week ultrasound. He was either the sickest boy pregnancy or a mildly sick girl pregnancy, but he was in that gray area and I just didn’t know. With this one, I have actually only thrown up once- due to a smell (which I have been very sensitive to), and I did have a stomach virus (which after realizing it was a virus and my morning sickness wasn’t getting worse, I was so thankful!), but eating consistently and the miracle of Zofran keeps the nausea under control. But there is no remedy for the exhaustion. How did Sarah do this at over twice my age??? The OCD in me hopes for a boy only because I have had all my boys in pairs between all the other girls. So keeping up with that pattern makes sense to my brain, but I realize that could be broken any time.

Anyway… Last night, My husband, Adrian & Mike were painting the kitchen and I was sitting at the table watching and talking when I told Adrian that earlier that day, Cory came in and asked me if he looks cooler than Adrian. I said, “Of course,” and he looked rather confused. I immediately modified my answer to, “Well, I mean, Adrian is really cool, but today you look cooler than him.” And he skipped away with a big grin on his face. With this information in hand, we started calling the kids in.

J’onn was first. Adrian asked him, “Who is the coolest guy in this room? Me, Adrian or Mike?”  We explained that there were no right or wrong answers, just his opinion, and after nervously laughing, he pointed to Adrian. Then Adrian asked him who the strongest guy in the room was. He said, “If there was a bad guy in your room downstairs and you had to go in there, which one of us would you take to fight them off?” J’onn then pointed to Mike.

Score: Adrian- 1, Mike- 1, Dad- 0.

Cory was next. When asked who the coolest guy in the room was he quickly replied, “Me.” (like, duh?!) OK. So we then asked who the second coolest guy in the room was and he said, “Mike.” Then we explained the bad guy scenario, and the strong guy Cory would take downstairs would be: Adrian.

Score: Adrian-2, Mike- 2, Dad- 0.

Next was Presley. She tends to be politically correct, and later tried to change her answers with explanations, but we told her that her original answers were the right ones and they were fine. Coolest= Mike. Strongest= Adrian.

Score: Adrian-3, Mike-3, Dad-0.

Eva was asleep so I later asked her the same questions. Her answers: Adrian was the strongest. Mike the coolest. (Coolest defined to a three-year-old as someone you would want to be like.)

Score: Adrian-4, Mike-4, Dad-0.

Dad had to tell the winners last night not to take it personally, but he was going to have to hurt one of them just to prove a point. I think he can live with not being the coolest, but not being the strongest? Not being the one to rescue them from a bad guy? Well that was just too much. But we did get quite the laugh.

So what else…. We had our car stolen off our front lawn before Christmas. We did get it back, but it is in the shop being fixed due to some serious joy riding. The person responsible was a newly released felon who had been picked up for a different infraction at the same time new renters found our Expedition in their backyard as they were moving in. The key fob the thief was carrying, along with Adrian’s boots he was wearing and Adrian’s backpack with his personal items inside connects him to the car. Unfortunately, Adrian had some Christmas gifts he was hiding from me in the car (think Dyson), and some camping equipment that was all sold in the 4 days time he was enjoying our car.

Adrian flew to the Bay Area to pick up my new van/bus. Whatever. It reminds me of a UPS truck. 15 seats plus cargo (9 ft tall, 22 ft long). I am fine driving it, parking it- everything- except the attention it brings. People are always staring and talking to me about it. It’s obvious from their questions they think it is a lot more money that what we paid for it. So that kind of attention makes me uncomfortable, but I am thankful and appreciative… here it is:

IMG_4631.JPG (Couldn’t even fit it all in the pic)

img_0507 (inside pic)

vehicle(Online pic)


We took our first real family vacation since Tristan’s Make-A-Wish trip 9 years ago. We drove to San Jose for Thanksgiving (nice and comfortably in my new van/ Space Shuttle Transport vehicle). Adrian III flew in from Texas a few days earlier and met us there. We even picked up Hailey, Mike and Shauna from the airport Thanksgiving morning. Friday we drove to Carlsbad- Legoland. The Hotel was just as much fun as the park. I think our favorite thing was riding on the elevators:

The Kids’ Dance Club in the hotel each night was a big hit. The Jester DJ and the pirates and princesses made it a lot of fun. And… if you go… the food at the Bricks restaurant (buffet) is amazing. Free at breakfast (yum!! Oh- and 2 chocolate muffins fit nicely in a coffee to-go cup for later!), expensive at dinner- but worth it. Basically all you can eat prime rib (delicious) and things like that- with a kids’ station, too!


J’onn was chosen to be in an audience-participation play, which he loved:


The fact that the rooms are themed (we stayed in pirate rooms) is super fun. Here are some pics of us at the park:

img_0443img_0341img_0357img_0456img_0397img_0392img_0449img_0370img_0493Madeline’s favorite part of the trip- she was communicating with the Jester- it was amazing!

We loved seeing our family (it had been over 12 years since I had been to San Jose)- many of whom we had not seen in 8 years. But the best part of the trip was unplanned. After we were already on the road, we found out that some friends of ours were heading to Pleasanton (about an hour north of our first destination). We ended up meeting up with them in Bend, Oregon for dinner and swimming at the hotel. We also headed home on the same day so we met in Bend once more. That was such a blessing. We love the Pfening family so much!

img_0237They have 3 kids: Christian, Colin and Maggie. Our kids LOVE them! Joe is hilarious, and people confuse Allie and I all the time. (Two blonde Allies the same age, same church… It’s a lot of fun.) We actually do have a lot in common, and the fellowship with them is always a blessing. Actually, we just went to the Wandering Table restaurant with them- what a treat! This is what awaited Adrian upon our arrival:

img_0800How Joe talked McDonald’s into letting him borrow a tray is beyond me. But Joe and Allie treated us to a Chef’s Special- where you get course after course of the Chef’s choice. That was amazing. In fact, it’s in my top 5 best food experiences! (Del Monicos, The Cut, Capitol Grill, Churchills & this night!) Our meal consisted of: (Yes, I wrote this down to remember!) Bacon Maple Deviled eggs (OMG!) and a citrus salad for Adrian (who said he wouldn’t eat mayo or fish), a yummy quinoa salad (first quinoa I have liked) A Meat, Cheese, Crackers tray with pickled jalapeños, olives, garlic, candied walnuts on it, Halibut with pear sauce and blueberries (pork belly for Adrian), Steak Tartare (I skipped that one being pregnant), Flank steak with cheese topped potatoes, roasted half quails (I tried it, but it looked like a baby, so while it tasted good, I mentally couldn’t do it and Adrian finished mine), Basalmic Braised Spare Ribs followed by a dessert tray with Applewood Creme Brûlée, Purple (Huckleberry? Blueberry?) Coconut ice cream, brownies topped with iced milk, apple slices with caramel drizzled on top, and cinnamon covered donut balls on a pumpkin spread. It was a fabulous four hours, time always flies with Joe and Allie, and we loved it.

We went to the American Childhood Cancer Christmas party and J’onn brought the house down singing his all-time favorite song. The college kids he’d been befriending were screaming his name- it was fun. (Worth watching until the end):

After this song, I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) started and the MC just handed J’onn the microphone and walked away. (Here’s a small clip of that):

Then we had a nice Christmas: we went to church, came home and opened gifts. The kids’ main gifts this year was Legoland. I did, however, do some awesome “stockings” in pillowcase -like  Christmas bags with drawstrings- which is how I think we’ll continue Christmas- no wrapping!!! Eva did ask after EACH item she pulled out of her bag, “Is this mine?” From each little Playdoh to her Superhero Girl dolls. “Is this mine?” “Yes, Everything in that bag is yours! Yes, yes, yes!” But it was fun.

Ok, well I’m almost a month late taking Adrian III to his birthday lunch, and he is on his way home from the test so I have to go. Maybe we’ll talk soon! Happy 2017 to all!