Monday, December 31, 2007

Reflections on 2007 ( only because I was having a good hair day)

The obligatory end of the year blog is at hand and I decided since today was a fabulous day for me to Vlog instead. Here you can listen to my ramblings on and not have to digest my terrible writing. I won't call it the best year but I will say it was much better than 06' which you can read about here

Here goes:

Some final thoughts on 2007 from Just Jules on Vimeo.

I forgot something

Happy 2008 from Just Jules on Vimeo.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Let's all breath a sigh of relief...Christmas is over

Christmas 2007 is now just a memory and I wonder if my kids will remember this one. I love thinking back on my Christmas memories and special gifts through the years but I don't remember all of them. So as a parent I now try to think what will they remember? Only time will tell that one.

My parent's both came for the weekend and we celebrated Saturday and Sunday night. My mom came Saturday evening and the kids opened their present's from her. Elizabeth got a HS musical shirt,Dance mat and a Hannah Montana doll all of which she was thrilled to recieve. Then Conner got a MP3 player that he has been waiting for a long time and replaced his home jobber. He had been using Marty's voice recorder for work to record songs on and then put earphone's into it and called it his "mp3". We have been laughing at this for months and knew he really needed a real one and of course we immediately had to put songs on it.

 Then my Dad came in about that time and I had my parent's open their birthday presents at the same time since I got them the same thing. I made them calendar's onShutterfly I really started out to make my Dad one and then it was so cute I made another for Mom. They loved them and my Mom cried when she opened her's and Dad was thrilled he would no longer forget a birthday. My Dad and I went to Wal-mart to get more wrapping paper for his gifts and the fog was so thick it was 1/4 of a mile visibility. We came home and wrapped his gifts and then just let the kids open them. He got Conner a helmet and kneepads and Elizabeth the cutest wicker trunks for her toys and a Hannah Montana cd.

The phone rang at three a.m. and I answered it because when the phone rings at three a.m that's what you do, right? It was Marty's work calling him to go to Fresno for a incident and he had to leave immediately. He was kinda mad that I answered the phone and he got dragged out of bed. The fog along the freeway was zero visibility all the way to Fresno and he really didn't know where he was going.

  Anyways, I took the kids to church because I had to teach Sunday School and that meant I should go to church also. My mom took the kids home and I stayed and taught Sunday School and then went to buy Tamales for lunch. We have adopted the tradition of eating Tamales somewhere along the way and Marty has been eating them his whole life. He was especially happy I found dessert Tamales this year and he got pineapple and raisin one's for the first time in year's. Marty finally got back home somewhere around three o'clock in the afternoon very tired and worn out. Then my Dad , Mom, Conner, Elizabeth and I drove out to Bravo Farms and we ordered dinner from Tahoe Joe's  it was so nice not to cook and the food was great. We ordered in because our tripto that restaurant didn't turn out so well.

My parent's both went home and we had Christmas eve to ourselves and just ate leftovers from the weekend. We watched "A Christmas Story" and slept under the tree as usual. The kids had cider and cookies and I just tried to clean up a little from the weekend.

 Yesterday, morning the kids and I waited until Marty came home from work to open presents together as a family. They loved everything we got them and they both had written us cards as a gift. I cried reading these cards because they both used their best writing and Conner had copied this touching poem about birds flying away. It reminded me that the kids are growing and someday they will fly away. I was also so happy to know they are learning from me and putting things I am teaching into practice.

  We all got alot of nice gifts for each other but I got a day of shopping to myself from them and a bottle of perfume that Marty had delivered from Sephora by calling my Mom to buy it. Marty went to sleep, then the kids and I played with all of their toys together. Conner and Elizabeth got Singstar for Playstation 2 and I am sooo addicted to the 80's version of the game. We played that most of the day before going to our friends house for dinner and then played it with Marty when we got home.

 Overall Christmas was a wonderful day and I got through it without dwelling on missing my Grandma's and Grandpa. Happy is a few pictures:

Saturday, December 22, 2007

To bless and be blessed

Last year our family adopted a less fortunate family at Christmas. We loved it so much this year we adopted two family's from a list at church. Our church gets the names from a school in our town that is in a financially disadvantaged area. We take the kids and buy the gifts which are mostly clothes and shoes. Then we take the gifts with a food basket and deliver them to the family. We had two spanish speaking families this year but we made it without a translator and got the gifts to them. It is amazing to see where these people live and how overjoyed they are at something so small. It is hard to leave and not feel thankful or want to go back and give them more. I think our kids should see how blessed they are and that life is hard out there in the world.

My dear friend sent me a package this week and kept calling to see if I got it. It came yesterday and I thought I better open it in case there is food in there. So I opened the package and there was a can of chili from a famous chili restaurant in her area that she always talks about. I opened the card and a check fell out from her mom for $245- and all of the sudden check, after check, after check fell out all from people we don't know. She set out to establish a medical fund for Marty and all of our trips to Stanford we expect to make. She did this because she wanted to bless our family not because we needed it but to be a blessing and bear some of the burden. I was bawling for about ten minutes and we immediately set down and wrote thank you notes to the whole list. How amazing that total strangers would want to do something for people they don't even know all the way across the country. We are very fortunate to have good insurance that covers 100% of transplant and all we have to pay is housing for 3 months, co-pays for medication and travel. Really nothing compared to so many people who have to foot the bill themselves or with little insurance help. But this is a good start to our plans to build a seperate fund for transplant that we planned on funding ourselves. We would feel badly fundraising because Marty has such a good job and good insurance. We plan on just paying for it ourselves just as another bill in life but this is something really special that I thought was so amazing and share worthy!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I finally have time to sit down and blog after the craziness finally subsided. I got most of my Christmas cards out today and I did a little baking this afternoon. We have run here and run there, partied, sung carols, sat through a Christmas program and had a very interesting encounter.

Saturday, started the craziness with rehearsal for the kids Christmas musical which we could drop them off at and go shopping finally. We went and shopped and then ran back to pick the kids up to take them to a birthday party. We went and shopped some more while they attended the party. We dropped the gifts off at a friend's and then picked the kids up to go home. Our house was Old mother Hubbard's cupboard and we needed to grocery shop too!

Sunday, we went to church where I taught Sunday school and then I went to a lunch for a friend's birthday. Came home from lunch and took the kids to the final rehearsal for the program where I got wrangled in to making copies of the program. Came home got ready and went to the program to find everyone and there brother saving seats. I found a empty row in the back where I could set up the tripod to record the program. I invited my friend R to come and bring her daughter with her since she is 5 and would enjoy that sort of thing. We are sitting there chit chatting and all of the sudden R spots her daughter's biological mom three rows ahead of us. Her daughter was adopted out of foster care and knows she is adopted and has met the mom once. She was three days old when she got brought home from the hospital by R and her husband J so this woman is just the biol not the mom. Anways she knows R from visitation and so R decided to let her know she was there and said "hello". Come to find out the uncle and brother of R's daughter have been going to our church and I had no idea. So that was a very awkward stressful situation.

Monday, I hosted a ladies get together for our mission's group at my home for 12 women. Because we had been on the go the house got messy and I stayed up late on Sunday and rose early Monday to prepare. It turned out well and all enjoyed themselves. They left and one of them left something and had to come back and ended up staying a few hrs.

Tuesday, Marty had a promotional exam for Sergeant at work and I needed to help him prepare for that. He was very nervous and needed to memorize some stuff for the exam. He thinks it went well and we will find out in 4-6 weeks if he goes on to the Chiefs interview. I finally sat down after he left and addressed Christmas cards and envelopes to get in the mail.

Today, I mailed the cards and baked some cookies. On top of all this last week Marty got a cold, then I got a cold, Elizabeth had a cold and last night Conner ran fever and had flu like symptoms.

I finally got some time to come online and upload pics and videos from the weekend. I have the video up on my Flickr page but probably shouldn't post it here since it has other people's kids in it. Email me for the link to the Flickr page to see the video and I can't put that here since it has my last name in the title.

Here are the ladies event's



Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Now I can relax for six weeks as everything went well at Marty's appointment today. No change in Kidney function which is wonderful news. I couldn't ask for anything better for the holidays and now we can enjoy them knowing things are fine. I did have a tight chest today and I think it is just waiting that is the hard part. It is like living with a ticking time bomb that you never know when it is going to go off. I know it will all work out eventually and I am just so glad we didn't get bad news before the holiday.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Clean the walls with buckets of soap..falalalala

I am preparing to host a ladies Christmas party next Monday for some women from church. I am cleaning walls, nooks, furniture, cupboards out with frenzy. I still need to get cards done I am hoping sometime this week if at all possible! We still need to shop and bake on top of that. I am just going to be happy with what get's done and the rest is what it is.

Marty has come down with a little cold and today is his monthly check up. We hope there is no change in Kidney function this month and that he stays the same. So it has been a stressful day and a half while waiting to see what will happen this month as usual.

I wanted to do a vlog instead but the camera is dead and on the charger but I hope to get one of those made soon. I thought it would be something new and different.

Time is short and so is this blog.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Tis' the season to be hectic

I love Christmas and always have but it seems the older I get the busier it gets. The next several weekends in a row we have something going on everyday and somedays two or three things. I want to slow down and enjoy every minute of these holidays and relax but I guess that isn't possible. I need to go clean the house to get it ready for the weekend but I have been feeling so run down all week. I guess it is just that time of the month and I am getting older and it seems to be more taxing the past few times. Anyways, I am glad we have no plans on Christmas eve or Christmas day this year and we can stay home and relax together. I need to bake,shop, and plan for the weekend before since that is when both parent's will come into town for a few days.

We have so many traditions and my kids look forward to them each year. One tradition is to celebrate the Dutch holiday of Sinterklaas on December 5th by giving little candies in their shoes and eating peppernoten. My mom started this tradition when we were young from her days of living in Holland. Then we bake cookies and decorate them every year and usually that is 10-15 different types of cookies. Marty started a tradition of sleeping by the fire on Christmas eve and watching a Christmas Story as a family. My Grandma started the tradition of hiding the Christmas pickle on the tree and whoever finds it wins a prize and the kids love that. Even the foods we eat on the holiday are tradition and we only eat certain foods at certain holidays. What are your tradtions? I love to hear what people do on the holidays.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A Croc of shoes

I don't think even my closest friends know this about me. I have become obsessed with wearing Croc's the past year and wear them almost everyday now. I started out with a brown pair Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
I love them because they are so comfortable and light on your feet. I think they are cuter than most tennis shoes out there and I like that I can match them to my clothes. I was born pigeon toed and my feet turn in pretty noticeably and most shoes are so heavy on my feet. When I was younger I wore bars to sleep and my parent's bought me fitted mary jane's to wear but nothing helped. I often trip over my feet because I throw them in and am known to fall a lot. I even spent several years in special ed. P.E. to help my coordination skills. Anyways, these shoes work perfect for my feet because of the weight and since I have "Potato feet"( wide) as Marty calls them the shape works great.

I have taken these camping and used them as water socks in a river one time. They are so versatile and functional albiet they are kinda ugly. When they came out with a Mary Jane pair last year I flipped out and bought a black pair because they were so cute. I wore them to the mountains and encountered snow and they had great traction. Here is a pic of my cute Mary Jane's in the snow
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Well, a few months back when we took our annual train trip to San Francisco I wore my cute Mary Janes. They worked great on the whole trip and my feet never hurt once. On the way home crossing the train tracks to get back to the car my foot got caught. I managed to untangle the foot and salvage the shoe but a piece broke off in the process. It was the little gator snap on the side and so I decided to call Croc and see if I could get a replacement part. I called them and they sent out a whole envelope of snaps for FREE and told me if I needed anything else to call back. I thought I had the strap assembly and when the snaps came I realized that I lost them. So I finally remembered to call last week and the straps came in the mail today( once again replaced free of charge) and I am in Croc heaven once again. I know this is inane prattle but I just wanted to share my good experience and highly recommend you all go buy a pair. Fashion is great but comfort is everything!

field trip

We went on two field trips today with some other homeschool families. We took a tour of Carrows and they feed the kids a free breakfast and let them make their own pancakes and drinks. Then we drove out to Bravo farms a artisan cheese factory in Traver. They showed the kids how Cheddaring is a process not just a name, How some bacteria is good and how some cheese really smells bad. They showed us all the cheese aging and molding, the storeroom, the milk tanks and all of the stuff that goes into a cheese factory. Then they gave everybody cheese and ice cream at the end of the tour. My Dad loves this cheese and I bought him some Cabernet cheese. Overall a really nice break and fun for the kids to see some friends their own ages.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Stop the presses!

I just wanted to let Di know her Apple stock went up because this family helped contribute. Marty is the proud new owner of a iphone. I knew Di would be proud and couldn't resist the urge to share the news along with the news we may have to buy a new computer to go with that iphone. We bought this MAC refurbished from a company that specializes in refurbished MAC's for a very reasonable price. We wanted to see if we like the platform and if we could even operate the thing without screaming. It is so user friendly and very easy to use in fact I think it is much easier to use compared to a Windows operating system.

We found out a glitch last night though, We cannot download osx 10.4 or higher because our operating system is too old. So Marty couldn't register his phone through itunes and we had to drag out our Toshiba satellite to do the registration. That meant downloading itunes, quick time and a xp service pack. So finally at two am Marty was able to finally register the stinking phone and now is using it as I type. Hence the need for a new MAC to be able to use the iphone properly we need a new computer. Marty said for Christmas and I said after Christmas because I hate to spend that much for something we don't really need. The iphone itself is all they say it is and more!

On another note, I won a award at bowling last night...shock of shocks I bowled a 140 game a few weeks ago and I got a patch for that last night. What I do with a patch is beyond me but I am pretty proud to have done so well!