Monday, December 31, 2007

The End is Near...

We have a couple days left before we close out 2007... It has been an unbelievably crazy year. I can't write much, but I wanted to post a recent picture that my siblings and I took. We haven't taken a picture together in years, so I decided to get everyone together and get some pictures taken for my parents before any grandkids came along. We had so much fun; it's not too often that we spend time together for no reason. Everyone has their own lives and being pulled in every direction, so it was very nice to just spend free time with all my siblings.

I hassled my brothers to meet us at a place to get these pictures taken. They were not too happy, especially my younger brother, David. Once we got there he changed his mind. He was the one wanting pictures here and there with his girlfriend. Peter and Sonia took this as an opportunity to take pictures as well... To bad Peter looked like the sun was in his face or he was surprised.

My brother had to open his eyes wide to not squint... didn't look any better.

Every time we tried to take a serious picture, my brother would pinch us - we just gave up.

David and Steph

This is the shot we picked to be blown up to 16 x 22. I ended with no nose by the time it was blown up.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas

To everyone that reads my blog, I wish you and your families a Merry Christmas!

Shauna, Jenster, Becky, Deeanne, Katybug, Angela, and Barb - wishing you all a very Merry Christmas full of lots of good food, great gifts (giving and receiving), and special times making memories with family and friends.

Hopefully you won't buy anyone a gift like this or receive one...

Or you won't find this delivered to your front door...

Don't forget, TIS THE SEASON TO BE JOLLY... Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra-ra-ra =)!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas Rundown

SUNDAY, December 23rd
On Sunday I will be celebrating my grandfathers 79th birthday and going to church in the evening. We will have our Christmas service and the kids will be singing. I really look forward to this service each year. The kids have been practicing - All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, Jesus Christ is Coming to Town (aka Santa Claus is coming), Happy Birthday Jesus, Feliz Navidad.

Monday, December 24th
On Christmas Eve, I have the day off of work, woohoo! This day we celebrate with my mothers side of the family. We get together for a huge dinner which includes turkey and ham as the main courses. I tried to talk my mom into changing the menu to steaks and crab, but it didn't work. We will be eating turkey.

Christmas Day, December 25th
On Christmas morning we wake up super early, sit around the tree and fire, drinking coffee, arguing, and laughing until everyone is up and ready to open gifts. It takes our slow slow family about 3 hours to open gifts. For this reason alone, we always make a mad dash to get in the showers and over to my grandparents house. My grandma makes everything you could possibly think of. She has a dessert table, an appetizer table and then a spread for the main course and sides. Our family is so huge that we eat in different rooms of the house that are opened up to each other by indoor "windows". After we have eaten, opened more presents and had some sort of adventure such as someone getting locked in a car trunk, someone catching on fire, or someone falling in the pool, we head home.

Usually on Christmas night we come home to an empty fridge and starve since nothing is open on Christmas day. This year, my dad ordered dozens of homemade tamales from my Brother's sister-in-law. There family celebrate in the traditional Hispanic way and tamales are always apart of their Christmas. So this year, she will be making some extra for us! yum!

This is how I spend my Christmas, I can't wait! I am also looking forward to a few additional days off of work.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Friday's Laugh

I've had a moment or moments during the Christmas season when I wanted to yell or punch someone while Christmas shopping or trying to park. I assure you that I would never punch a complete stranger, but I did something really horrendous a few years back when I was taken over by the Christmas parking rage.

My sister and I were in a huge line to park and this massive boat of a car comes along the side of us while we were waiting for the car to get out of our space. I was not about to let them get away with sneaking in and stealing our coveted parking space. I put my face against the window and put my fist up with a growl and then saw who was driving the big boat... a little old lady that could barely see above the staring wheel! From the look on her face, I saw that she was scared out of her mind! She most likely had no clue how parking lines worked. lol!

I posted this link since I couldn't get the actual video on here. Just watch out for other stuff that may pop up after the video is done, =).

GO Here to see serious Parking Rage

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Where's the Casket?

I went to a funeral on Wednesday for an elderly man that went to my church. I did not know him well, just said hello and asked about his well being from time to time. I went in support of his wife who I've known for years. I sat in the very back and when the time came for the service to end, the funeral coordinator gave instructions. I was in my own little world thinking about how this funeral brought back the painful memories of my Grandma's funeral a few months back and I didn't hear a word.

Next thing I know, the usher was standing in front of me motioning for me to move while the entire chapel, 100 + people, watched me. So I moved to the back and watched as my row moved down the aisle to the front... okay, so I was supposed to go down to the front. I couldn't figure out why, since there was no Casket in sight to pay last respects.
I finally moved down the aisle, up the stairs on the platform, past my pastor and out the door. Where was the casket?

My sister and I got in the car to leave after the grave site service (where the casket finally showed) and she said,
"He doesn't look the same as he did, very very different."
I said "who?"
"Bro. Zitterman." (man who passed away)
"How did you see him?!?"
"He was right there in the casket in the chapel."
"No he was not, there was no casket."
"Yes there was, he was right there. You could see him from the back of the chapel."
"I did not see a casket."
"If you had walked down the aisle to pay your last respects you would have seen him." (she thought I stayed in the back)
"I did walk down and I walked right by our pastor."
"He was right under Pastor's elbow." At this point my sister was laughing hysterically.
"You went to a funeral and didn't see the casket!"

Yes, I did this. If you want to see me make a fool of myself, take me to a wedding or a funeral. I usually mess something up, put my foot in my mouth, or appear insensitive. That day was the insensitive part.
I did want to share some pictures with you. I've never been to a cemetery during the Christmas season. This is what we saw. (pictures are not great since they are from my phone)

My sister said that it looked like "a poinsettia field.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Christmas Party

A group of us at church always get together for dinner at each others homes and go out on Sundays after church. We decided to do a secret Santa gift exchange this year. We got together on Saturday night at my home and had tons of yummy food and played games. We did a "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" Mad lib. You can click here and do one yourself. You can see just how hilarious these turned out. Someone hung some mistletoe and all the couples kept trying to sneak their way in.

I made two pesto pizza, both were gone in a matter of minutes. Everyone should taste this at some point in their lives! =) I've mentioned before that I rarely follow recipes and when I do I always end up missing something. I do all my cooking by "looking and guessing". Here is the recipe:

Handful of fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of toasted pine nuts
2 tbs of crumbled feta
4-5 artichoke hearts (canned in water)
3 Tbs of Fresh Parmesan
approx. 1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients except for olive oil in a food processor. Slowly poor in olive oil. Should be a little thicker than marinara sauce
Digorno pizza crust (not frozen)
1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil
1 can of artichoke hearts, halved (in water, not oil)
Feta cheese
Fresh Parmesan
Toasted pine nuts
Cook Pizza crust on 450 for about 7 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings. Rub oil over the top and add pesto. Add toppings, as much to your liking.

Put in the oven for another 4-5 minutes. Remove from oven and put under a broiler for 2-3 minutes.

After we had our tummy's full we went out to look at lights. There is this neighborhood close to my home that is all decked out. We walked for a little bit until we were all about to freeze and opted for the cars instead.
KISSING under the mistletoe

Peter laughing at his own Madlib

Scary Snow Dolls Catherine writing a letter to Santa

YIKES! I knew that I would make a blunder... I forgot to add 3 cloves of garlic to the list of ingredients for the pesto. 3 minced cloves.

Friday, December 14, 2007

A Laugh For Friday

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Dead Sea Scrolls - San Diego, CA

Let me start by sending out a warning - this is going to be long... I do not care to read really long post, but sometimes it happens. I am warning those that feel the same way.

Last weekend we took a trip to San Diego's National Museum of History to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. There are currently 15 on display at the museum. We walked through a corridor of art of the middle east before going into the rooms with the scrolls. We then saw artifacts from Qumran, the place where the scrolls were found. Ink wells that the scribes used were on display. No more than two have ever been found in one place and there were two found in Qumran. Some of my favorite scrolls were of the Ten Commandment, parts of Psalms, parts of Isaiah, and one that was never added to the Bible today, Enoch.

The rooms were dark and lit with small lights to preserve the scrolls. Standing among throngs of people, you could hear the hush. People were packed in, yet there was barely a whisper heard. There's something reverent about being in the same room as the scrolls. Biblical history that is more important than any other artifacts found, or so they are to me. Scrolls that were around before Jesus came to this earth. Before salvation. Now that is something were seeing!

It was a once in a lifetime experience. Sadly, one that I could not record with pictures.

After we left the museum we went to Old Town San Diego. Great Mexican food, shopping, old town charm. On our way there, we went on the bridge that connects Coronado Island to the main land. A huge double rainbow was across the bridge.

We ate at a restaurant called the Cosmopolitan. It does not look anything like it sounds. The restaurant used to be an old hotel. We did some Christmas Shopping in the main square before we begin to freeze.

On our way home everyone decided we needed some more old town charm. We stopped at the Orange Circle, it literally is a circle with a courtyard in the middle. Movies are filmed here all the time, one being That Thing You Do with Tom Hanks. We stopped at this eatery called Luccia. They served the best Panini's and Gelato. If you've never had Gelato, you need to find you a place that makes it fresh. My absolute favorite is Pistachio. We had some Gelato and then walked around in the freezing cold. I was miserable in my flip flops and light jacket. You may think I am insane wearing flip flips this time of year, but in the OC it does not get very cold. If it's down to 58, then it's really cold. I feel like I am starting to ramble so I will wrap this up.

Below are some pictures of our deadseascrolloldtownsandigeoorangecircle adventure.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New Church Building

I went on a tour of our new church building last night. It is huge; the sanctuary alone fits approx. 1200 people, or so I heard. These pictures are from my phone, so they're not clear. Also, everything will be remodeled over the next couple of months. We purchased this building for around 7.5 million (revised - almost 10 million after remodeling) or so, again, I hear =). Seems like a lot, but in Southern California that's pretty normal, especially for a building of this size.

Main Sanctuary

There are rows and rows of classrooms and offices, huge fellowship hall, wrap around foyer, school, preschool, outside rec area... it's so big and roomy and it's ours!! We have our first service there on December 23rd and I can't wait!

One side of the foyer (with the weird tile)

Monday, December 03, 2007

We Got Elfed!

Okay, in true holiday spirit, my siblings and I took a little trip to the north pole to "help" out, jolly ol' Santa. Someone decided to put on some music Falala music... and that was it... look here. LOL!