Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Visiting with family from PA
This evening Grace and I drove into the city to have dinner with Sara, Uncle Wilford, Aunt Annie and my cousin Lois who were out here visiting from PA. Thankfully we didn't hit much traffic. On our way there we drove through little Ethiopia and then to the Miracle Mile. (Can anyone tell me it is called that?) We ate dinner at Canter's Deli which has been around since 1931. It was good food and we had a great time visiting and listening to all their travel stories. Click here to see a few more pics of the drive into LA.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Baking, baking and more baking!
It seems like that's what I have been doing for the past week and a half. Last Thursday I got the idea to make a dirt cake to celebrate Earth Day. It consisted of chocolate cake with chocolate icing, a lot of Oreo "dirt" on top and some creepy crawly gummy worms to top it all off. It was very fun to make and the office family enjoyed shoveling some dirt onto their plates! Sunday night after getting back from a great weekend celebration with the family I had to get right back to baking again. A friend from work asked me to make a "Switch" cake to celebrate the first time we switched on registration in our new software. Well, that was even more fun figuring out how to make a light switch out of cake and fondant! It really turned out better than I had imagined. I love doing this! Tonight I'm baking Petite Vanilla Bean Scones from a recipe I found on the Pioneer Woman's website. I have been living vicariously through her wonderful blog posts and recipes. She's living the life I always thought I would have had staying home with a bunch of kids, amazing husband and lots of cooking, baking and photography... sigh... I can dream can't I?

So the really fun part of the weekend was getting together with the whole family to celebrate Christine's 16th birthday. We had a surprise tea party on Friday afternoon for all the girls. There were 17 of us. Christine's friend Josephine made all the great food and I brought all the tea things for the table. It turned out really nice and we all had a great time together. Later the boys crashed the party and we all went to the bowling alley for a fun night together. Click here to see lots and lots of pics of the day.
I'm off to go dip the scones in icing now!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April flowers are blooming everywhere...
The front and backyard right now are teeming with brilliant and beautiful colors. This lovely blue iris was one of my favorites to photograph.
From 2010 April Flowers

There are yellow and orange nasturtiums, peppermint striped roses, red roses and fragrant lavender... They are all so beautiful!
A Chilly Office!

So last week while I was away from the office in San Francisco, the guys decided to "re-decorate" my office. I came back to an arctic cubicle! Reggie and his friends the penguins had moved in. All the walls and surfaces were covered in white. Snowflakes falling from the ceiling. In case you are wondering, yes, I hate feeling cold! The paper thermometers all said -40 and they even hid my little heater. At least they missed me =) Hmmm... let see how I should decorate Darren's office for his birthday in a few weeks? Click here to see the rest of the chilly pictures.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SunGard Summit 2010, San Francisco

Has it been a week already since I was up late packing my bag for the trip to San Francisco? Here are some of the pics from my time there.

We tried to pack in as much sightseeing as we could before the conference started. It was a fun time!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

An Unforgettable Weekend!
I guess one never knows what one day or another day will bring but God in His infinite grace always does. My weekend started with a drive down to El Centro on Friday morning to pick up Mom. We had lunch together and then drove on to Yuma to spend Easter weekend with Donna, Greg and the kiddos. As always when we get together there is great food and fellowship. Linette, Thor and Frank joined us that night for our yummy wine and cheese fest. The kids had fun playing Bingo and the boys enjoyed a couple games of pool.
Saturday morning I had a great time coloring Easter eggs with Alyssa & Josh. They had never done that before so it was fun to share this experience with them. I love to see their creative juices flowing. Meantime Donna and Greg put together a delicious steak dinner that we all enjoyed in the beautiful weather outside and then later that evening we went to the Saturday Easter service. The sermon was about Thomas, the absentee. Have we been "absentee" with our walk with the Lord? He is always there with open arms to say welcome home.
Sunday morning I drove Mom to the Easter service which was partially held outdoors. What a beautiful day! We came back grilled hamburgers and ate outdoors again. After dessert we took our stuffed selves to the front yard and hid the eggs for the kids to find. Fun times! They had fun trying to find all the creative places we hid the eggs. After they found them all then they hid them for the adults to find =) So cute! It was finally time to say goodbye so we packed up my truck and Mom and I drove off.
A few minutes later I was pulling into the gas station in front of the Marine base when the big earthquake hit. It felt like someone was standing on my back bumper jumping up and down on it and it seemed to last for a long time. When things settled down I called Donna who was already looking it up online. Should I pump gas right after an earthquake? It worked and I so filled the tank then got back on the road to Imperial. I called Timothy to see if they were home from camping yet. They were driving back from Borrego Springs and had not felt anything. When we got there we surveyed the "damage" at their house. A broken ceramic water bottle dispenser and a few things fallen out of the medicine cabinets into the sink. Didn't seem too bad. So after having some coffee and a snack it was time to go drop Mom off and get back on the road to LA. Well, little did we know what we'd find at Mom's condo.
The pictures don 't really capture the chaos and all the broken glass that was everywhere in every room. It was shocking to walk in and see everything turned upside down and broken. Even the back door has been jarred open. The Fire Department came through and turned off the gas and water since the water heater was leaking. We were so thankful for God's protection! After taking some pictures we locked it up and drove back to Timothy's. Grace and Sara arrived around midnight and we all were kind of in shock and had a hard time sleeping that night with the numerous and quite strong aftershocks. Early on Monday Grace, Donna, Sara, my friend Frank and I began cleaning up the mess and putting things back in order. It took us almost the entire day to finish.
Throughout this whole ordeal it has been such a blessing to see the Lord's hand of protection and the wonderful support and care of friends. God is good!

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Easter a long time ago!
I found an old picture Mom had of me painting Easter eggs. This must have been taken around 1971 or 1972.
Today I shared the egg painting experience with Alyssa & Josh who were painting eggs for the first time.

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