Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Berries & Birthday's

I was reading online about local fun things for kids to do and ran across picking raspberries at the Snow-Line Orchard in Oak Glen. You can see the website for info HERE the orchard was beautiful! I Love Oak Glen and have been there several times over the years but I never really passed the main shopping center where the little museum and the bounce houses/pony rides are. I totally regret not driving past and really exploring Oak Glen because I've been missing out on some great places.

You pay twelve dollars for 3 baskets to fill with Raspberries. They don't spray pesticides or chemicals on the berries so you can eat while you pick.
Gavin and I before we entered the maze of raspberries
There are bees everywhere..they don't care about you and are living in bee heaven up here but they did scare Gavin a little because they are really loud.
Delicious...the best part about picking your own is you don't pick any bad ones
They have a little picnic area for you to eat lunch
We're finished...Yum Yum
We decided to keep driving up the hill to see what other neat places were waiting to be explored. We stopped at Los Rios Rancho for lunch! Check out the website HERE
The store and bakery were huge. They host a Hometown Jamboree the first Saturday of every month! There were Blue Jays in the trees :)
Grandma & Gavin
Petting Zoo with baby goats...only opened on weekends
Isn't it beautiful
There were two spaces of grass that had alot of picnic benches and shade...I can't wait to go back!
They also have a 2 mile hiking trail that takes you to a little's a children's hike
This Cool Guy is wearing his hiking shoe's next time
Gavin was a happy camper...we're going back very soon if anyone wants to join us! I made some Raspberry & Buttermilk muffins that were yummy :)
Friday evening we met with Grandma Marsha & GG for dinner...this was the only picture I got LOL
Saturday night was Davo's "Dirty Thirty" Party! Davo wanted everyone to dress "dirty" however only a few people really dressed up...including the Birthday Boys very "dirty" shirt
There was a body airbrusher there...he gave Star...alot of Stars
He also named her flame girl LOL
I got a Shamrock with Grant & Gavin's initials
Super Cheesy and it peeled off quick
Cindy got some Bling and a Barb Wire Tattoo
Grant, Genard, Nick & Jaime taking shots
Genard is always surrounded by all the ladies
Grant & His Old Buddy Corey Martin
Grant, Joseph & Nick
Nice face Nick...Nice Mustach Vic hahah
Can you tell he had WAY to much to DRINK
Cindy & Shalyn
The party was fun! They had a taco guy so of course we loaded up on tacos and Grant loaded up on drinks. Sunday was a chill day where the boys went swimming and the girls went shopping!

I got a call from Bob's Big Boy saying I dropped my business card in a drawing and won a Free Breakfast!!! I was excited when they called...I never win :)

Have a Great Week Everyone

Thursday, August 19, 2010

One Year Has Past

Since Gary left us....has it really already been a year? Time has passes so quickly you can't take a single minute for granted. For those of you new to my blog...My Father In Law lost his battle with lung cancer one year ago today. There have been many changes over that past year and I know Gary would be very proud of all of us..especially his Wifey :)  Marsha wrote this beautiful letter to Gary and said it would be okay to share with all of you. I'm sure she has already sent it to some of you but for those of you who haven't seen it and are wondering how Marsha has been the past year please read below....

Hello Gary,

It has been a year since you left us and I wanted to connect and update you on your family and the people who miss you so very much.

First off, I need to let you know I am doing fine. I often worry you felt like you may have left me with my hands full, losing your income and gaining full care of your mother. I want to alleviate you of any of those thoughts, I am holding my own financially, and you learn to live with what you have. Other than those rare days when I want to give it all up with your mom, I realize she gives me a very strong reason to come home and take care of someone other than myself. She misses you as much as I do, and I need someone around on those days when I am feeling sorry for myself.

Remember that talk about moving into a mobile home in a retirement park…I did it. I bought a beautiful little mobile home that was brand new and I love it. I love the sense of owning something that can’t be taken away. You would love it here, everyone knows your name, your schedule and most of your business…but they bring over soup when they notice you aren’t feeling well and check on your dogs and walk them when you are not home. I have one neighbor who takes my trash to the curb every Thursday and cleans my tiny back yard. He replaced some plants in front of my porch, because he is just that kind of guy. He won’t take payment for the work he does, so I bring him boxes of cookies and treats for his little dog.

Nights are the toughest. JR has taken over your side of the bed…won’t budge, still growls if you touch his pillow. I have this image of Arnold sitting at your feet. I want to assure you he passed in peace and I had his head in my lap stroking him and telling him how much he was loved when he passed. I sent him into your arms with all the love I had. I left his collar for you on your nameplate at Riverside National Cemetery. Princess Lily is still with me, deaf in both ears and now blind in one eye. Gwenett says I have the “Helen Keller” of dogs.

The kids and grandkids are doing great. Gwenett and Isaac have been married 6 years, imagine that. Jacob and Mia are strong pieces of light in my life. Remember how Grant would call Gwenett “Sissy”, and his toast her wedding when he said “Sissy” no one was familiar with his nickname for her but us. We knew it was his loving way of pointing out their relationship as siblings. Well…Mia calls Jacob “Brother”, and it gives me that assurance that although they will probably fight like cats and dogs, they will always be close. It warms my heart that Jacob remembers you and talks of you when we are together. I don’t tell him you are in a “better place”, because the best place would be with us. I give our grandkids (2) kisses each time, one for me and one from you. Mia will announce when she sees your picture “That’s Papa”, she remembers you and we are sure you will be a loving memory always. Grant and Shay quietly celebrated their anniversary as well and your son visits you more often than even I. He keeps your memory alive for all of us. He places your favorite beer and lottery ticket on your nameplate and Gavin has left some of his favorite toys for you. I smiled when I saw pictures of Grant and Shay’s dad having a shot in your memory on your birthday with Gavin taking a shot of milk right alongside the big boys. I knew you were smiling too. That little boy you were so afraid wasn’t going to make it…is a strong beautiful kid. He has the blessing of having his parents, and his grandparents loving him daily.

I think you would be proud of all of us. We dedicated this past year to your memory, doing things in your name at events we knew you would be involved in. We quietly celebrated your birthday, our anniversary, father’s day, our birthdays, Christmas, etc. We made it through this very tough first year, knowing that you would rest better knowing we were alright.

I hate to admit that although I knew you loved me, I don’t think I really knew how much until after you were gone. I know this because so many people remind me of it. We had a wonderful life, one that I miss terribly. This year has been nights full of memories, things I haven’t thought of for years. I find a strange comfort in closing my eyes and remembering those things as clearly as the moment(s) it happened. My advice to a recent Bride to be was to learn something from each fight she and her husband has, it was strange advice I know, but I learned about your vulnerabilities, your fears, your hurts, your dislikes, and your ability to forgive and love…everything that made you the man you were.

It was hard watching you leave us…seeing the pain in your eyes, but most of all to realize that no matter how hard we hung onto you, we had to let you go.

I will always keep your memory close in my heart and I have so many friends and family that are here to hold me up and let me cry, let me laugh and not judge me for my emotions, but they have learned to appreciate the people in their life so very more each day.

I love you Gary.


PS – did you get my picture?

This isn't the picture she's talking can ask her about that LOL I do however love this picture of Gary & Marsha snuggling :)

Wasn't it Beautful? Made me cry. We all miss you immensely Gary and think of you everyday. We have so many wonderful memories and always talk about what you would Say or the Jokes you would be making when we do something silly. Grant reminds me more of you everyday and Gavin now has your baseball glove...he's a lefty just like his Grandpa :) We will be having a Toast in Your Honor Tonight!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

End of Summer Vacation

Last Thursday I was sooo excited that I had a whole week off work...woo hoo time for a little road trip! First things First...Since Disneyland RAISED Prices AGAIN, I renewed our passes online the day before the price raise so Gavin and I headed to Disneyland on Friday morning for some Mommy ~ Son Fun!!!

First Stop...Tom Sawyer's (I guess now it's Pirates) Island!!! I remember going there when I was little but we had yet to take Gavin to explore. He LOVED it...we ran through the same tunnel for an hour.
Found the Pirates Treasure
We got off the island and headed to New Orleans with Princess Tiana..guess who got picked to go on stage and dance
He was Soooo Shy...Thankfully this nice lady thought he was adorable and kept him close to her
My Super Shy Frozen Son lol
Look at the Castle Mom
Look who's in the Castle Mom
Evil Queen from Snow White kept yelling at him to cross his arms
Alice...Gavin loves Alice
I think he was a little scared of the Queen of Hearts
We had an Awesome Disney Day

Monday Morning we headed to Solvang!
It was lunchtime when we checked into our hotel so Grant asked around where he could buy a traditional Danish meal...we ended up at the Red Viking and he ended up eating this...Yuck
Next stop...Yummy Bakery
Then we headed to the Mission
The gardens were amazing
We looked for Alice & The White Rabbit
Love the Red Flowers
The background was from a movie it was so beautiful
Family Shot
The Mission grounds were awesome
We headed to the Hans Christian Andersen Museum and enjoyed a milk latte
Windmill...I didn't notice Gavin's tounge was sticking out until Grant told me...opps
In Holland there's a Giant Wood Shoe outside a giftshop and Grant laughed at me when I jumped in it to take a's one of his favorite pictures of me...u know we had to get one of Gavin
Hans Christian Andersen Statue
We decided to take the 7 mile drive to see Neverland! The drive was beautiful..of course we listened to MJ the whole way. There was some dead squirrels in the road and 3 huge vultures eating them in the middle of the road it was crazy I've never seen vultures outside of the zoo.
They took down the sign...I was so sad :( We even drove past it.
There were a few fans here taking pictures and every single rock on the fence was written on by fans
MJ shining down on us :)
Gavin liked playing on the Giant Oak Tree surrounded by rocks with writing all over them
The guards post behind the gate..there was a bunch of security there. The guard said that Neverland is almost two miles past the gate
Security Cameras in the Trees
Gavin is standing on the fence where one sign was
See the bolts where it used to be?
It just breaks my heart they took down the sign, I really wanted a picture with it and it really seems like he's gone. The roses were beautiful and everything was maintained, there weren't any flowers that people left or any memorabilia from fans...I think the guards clean it up right away. I was surprised it was directly across from a school...I'm sure parents had a problem with that.

On our way back to Solvang we found Gavin's Dream Park
There were so many tunnels and awesome houses to run and hide in
If you ever go to Solvang you have to visit Sunny Fields Park!

We headed to Buellton to eat dinner at Andersen's Famouse Split Pea was Delish!
We ate breakfast at the Green House in Solvang and headed to the Beautiful Santa Barbara Zoo.
Gavin got to feed the Giraffes
He was so Brave lol
Long Purple Tounge
We had to feed the goats too
Which brought much joy to this little guy
The Elephant's Were Awesome
The Monkeys were Spread Eagle Sun Bathing
The Leopards were Licking
My Boys were Hatching
Grant kepts saying he wanted to be an Animal in the Santa Barabara Zoo HAHA It was beautiful and all the animals were well taken care of. We called our hotel from the parking lot asking how to get there from the zoo...the guy said leave the parking lot, turn left and there we are. It was right there...I couldn't have picked a closer hotel :)

We checked into our room and ran straight to the beach...that we could see out our hotel room window
I'm so happy he finally loves the ocean
Throwing sand back into the water
This boy wouldn't take any pictures with Mommy this whole trip :(
Our traditional 1...2...3 Picture
Smooching Daddy
We checked out the Pier
There were so many sail boats
The next morning we headed to LA Bye Bye Hotel
We stopped to visit my Grandpa
Picked up some flowers
Then we headed up the hill to the Griffith Observatory
The building is so Beautiful
The best part is it's Free...however if you want to see the shows you pay for the tickets and Children Under 5 are only admitted to the first show everyday so we were too late
There are tons of cool things to look at and it's great for older children...just not 2 year olds
Who want to run like wild boys and touch everything
Time Pendulum
Smoggy Los Angeles
Our Happy Camper...Heading Home
Sunday we headed back to Disneyland to get Grant's Pass...I thought I would leave this blog with the same picture I started with...Gavin got to show his Daddy Tom Sawyer's Island :)
I realized that the days of lounging on the beach with no worries are way behind us. Grant had to visit the hotel's happy hour alone and bring his drinks back to the room. We had Taco Tuesday at El Torito and it had to be cut short by a cranky, tired kid but I can't complain. Everyone is Healthy, Working and I Love My Little Family...I know How Blessed I Am!