Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday Family Throwback-Family Vacations

It's Friday again. And about time. So it is time for Friday Family Throwback. Since it is summer and summer usually means vacation time, I thought I would share photos of some of the vacations that my family has gone on over the years. Well, at least the vacations that I have photos of on my computer.

I am going to post vacation stuff daily for the next month. So instead of it just being Friday Family Throwback. It will be Family Vacation Throwback month. By the end of summer, you will be so tired of seeing my vacation photos that you will want to ship me off to some deserted island somewhere. If you do that, can you be sure to send me somewhere with a 5 star hotel? I know, I know, deserted islands don't have 5 star hotels.

We'll start off with my family vacation back in 2000. Our goal was to visit National Parks in Arizona, Utah & southwest Colorado. Since we can't afford to fly anywhere, we always go on a driving vacation, better known as a "Road Trip". That means staying in the southwest. Luckily for us, the southwest US has an abundance of National Parks, not to mention some awesome scenery.

Today I will post about the first couple of days of our vacation. Back in 2000 when we went on this vacation we had a website that we posted on daily. We would put what our itinerary was suppose to be for the day & then we would post about what we actually did, along with photos. That way our family & friends could see what we were seeing each day. We no longer have the website up, but luckily Brandon did keep all the info that was posted. That makes my post today a little easier to do.

Have you ever gone on vacation with another family? It can be a lot more fun going with another family. But it can also be a little more stressful at times as well. We've gone on a couple of vacations with Mike's niece Jamee and her husband Mike and their son Mikey. This particular vacation was one that our 2 families went on together.


Day 1
Monday, August 21, 2000:
Today is our first day on vacation. We are leaving San Diego early Monday morning. It will be a long and hot drive through the desert. Destination: Flagstaff, Arizona. To get there we decided to take a new route for us. Drive east out through Yuma, and Phoenix. Then go north until we hit Flagstaff. It will be a very fun and exciting trip, plus something new :)

Today: We had a wonderful drive to Flagstaff. It was long, but very interesting. At flagstaff we went to a state park with Indian ruins. It was very neat. Kim, and Jamie got soaked when it suddenly rained cats and dogs while at the park. The rest stayed dry by taking shelter in a cave. For dinner we all went to the Outback Steakhouse. Finally Kimmy opened her birthday presents and we went to bed.

Today's map - El Cajon, CA to flagstaff, AZ

Today's Photos:

The Arizona Desert outside of Gila Bend. (This is Mike's niece Jamee and her husband Mike and thier son Mikey.)
Mike mooning the cactus
Brandan, Mikey, Kimmy & Brandon out in the hot Arizona desert.

Brandan, Kimmy, Mike & Brandon (can you tell we really liked taking photos with the cactus?)
Ancient Indian Ruins (just outside Flagstaff, AZ). This was called Walnut Canyon National Monument.

The boys hiked down to the caves & cliff dwellings. Us girls (Jamee & I) opted to stay up top & relax.

Our family at the top of the trail at Walnut Canyon National Monument. Brandon, Kimmy, Mike & Brandan.Jamee, Mike & Mikey
Eating at the Outback Steakhouse

Kimmy's Birthday Party (My presents came from the Cracker Barrel which was right next door to our hotel in Flagstaff.)

Day 2
Tuesday, August 22, 2000:

The grand canyon is our main point of interest today. We will be visiting the south rim of the canyon. After that we are off to Cortez, Colorado. A small town in southwest Colorado, Cortez is popular for one of the southwest's most precious national parks. Mesa Verde, which we will be visiting tomorrow.

Today: Off to the grand canyon. We left Flagstaff around 8:00 AM. At the grand canyon we took some shuttle tours around the park. While waiting, the skies opened up and it rained like crazy. Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled. We were all wet, but it was very fun. We viewed the canyon from many perspectives, which were all great. The Colorado river was easy to spot down in the canyon. After leaving the grand canyon, we drove to some small town in Northern Arizona called Tuba City, and ate lunch at a McDonalds. That place was weird. We were minorities. Everyone else was Indian. After leaving this small town, we drove and drove. Saw some cool lightning storms, and drove some more. Finally just as it was getting dark, we arrived at four corners. Just barely making it, we were able to check it out. For free by the way. After spending about 10 minutes there, it was time to hit the road again. About 40 minutes later we arrived in Cortez, Colorado.

Today's map - Flagstaff, AZ to Cortez, CO

Today's Photos:

The grand canyon @ the south rim

Brandan, Mikey & Brandon

Brandan, Mike, Kimmy, Brandon

Mikey, Mike & JameeKimmy & her new boyfriend

This was our hotel for the night. Just kidding.
Four Corners-The only place in the United States where you can stand on 4 states at once. Utah, Colorado, New Mexico & Arizona.
There you have the first two days of our National Parks vacation back in 2000. Tomorrow I will try & post the next 2 days of our vacation. If not, it may be Monday. So be sure to check back to continue our vacation and to see where we go next.

And if you are a family member & want to post photos of your current or old vacations, you are more than welcome to post them here. Or you can post them on your own blog (if you have one) and I will link to you. I think it's fun looking back & remembering. Not to mention seeing yourself looking younger & thinner.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Favorites-Christmas Past

You know me, I can't resist a fun party. Chari over at Happy to Design hosts a fun one where we repost something that we once showed on our blog. Someone (and I'm talking about you) might have missed it the first time around. Since everyone in blogland is celebrating Christmas in July, I thought I would repost something I did back in December about Christmas past.

Welcome to this week's show and tell. I've decided to post a few photos I found of Christmas from my past. I only had time to look through I old photo album & I found 5 photos. But for some reason when I scanned one of the photos it cut my head off & I didn't realize it until I was at work & couldn't fix it. So needless to say, I did not include the headless photo.

This first photo is from 1966. I was 8 years old. Wasn't I cute? Here are a few of things I got for Christmas that year. I'm sure the super giant baking set was for my Easy Bake oven. Did you have one of those when you were a kid? It was super cool. I loved mine. This photo was taken in our house on Ellen Lane. Brandon got a kick out of the old TV in the photo.

I was 9 in this photo so Eric would have been 7. This was our first Christmas in our house on Cosmo Ave. Andrea would have been a baby this year. I had forgotten about my baton. How I loved that baton. I was going to be a world famous baton twirler. That lasted about 5 minutes. I was never very good at following through with anything. Did any of you watch America's Got Talent this past summer on TV? They had a teenage boy who was great at baton twirling. That is what I had in mind when I asked for the baton. But the practicing part got in the way of my dream.
I would have been 15 in this photo. I loved this elf costume. We were in a Christmas program at church. Don't remember exactly what we did. But I loved my outfit. Dawn was my BFF this particular year.

This last photo I am 15, Eric 13, Jodi & Todd, 11 & Andrea would have been 6. This Christmas we decided we would put on a program for Mom & Dad (I was very theatrical at this stage in my life). I was a dancing doll. I'm sure I made up some dance to a Nutcracker song as I love the Nutcracker. Eric, Todd & Jodi dressed up as the 3 wise men & sang "We 3 Kings of Orient Are". The robes they are wearing as the back side of quilts that Mom had made for each of them. Not sure why Jodi & Eric don't have crowns. Andrea was a fairy. Not sure what she did other than to "look pretty". The program was a "hit". I think this was the only year that we did a program for Mom and Dad. Santa came to check on us before we went to bed when it was all over.
Doesn't Jodi look the same? She never changes. Andrea pretty much stayed the same as well, always cute. For the rest of us? Can't tell you what happened.

Now to my story of my close encounter with Santa, his elves & Rudolph. This is a true story. This happened to me somewhere between 6-9 years old. Not sure exactly when, but we were living in our house on Ellen Lane. Now we didn't have a fireplace, therefore, no chimney. I remember being quite concerned about this and brought it to Mom's attention. "How is Santa going to bring us presents if we don't have a chimney for him to come down?" I asked. Mom in her infinite wisdom responded, "Santa doesn't need a chimney, as he has a magic key. This magic key gets him into everyone;s house who doesn't have a chimney". Boy was I relieved. Santa would not be passing us by this Christmas.

When we went to bed on Christmas Eve we were told we needed to be asleep before midnight. Santa comes at midnight & sends in his elves to check to make sure that all little boys and girls are asleep. If you are not asleep, Santa won't leave you any gifts. Well, who could sleep on Christmas Eve? Everyone but me it seems.

About midnight I heard the clock chime 12 times. I got so exited. I just knew that Santa was coming any minute. Then it happened, I heard the bells on the front door jingle. Santa was here!!! He was using his magic key to open my front door. I could hardly contain my excitement. Then I remembered Mom's warning. Santa won't leave gifts unless everyone is asleep. I knew that Santa would soon be sending in his elves to check on us.

Now I slept in the top bunk in my bedroom. I remember hearing my bedroom door open & I could feel someone was in my room. I had to pretend I was asleep, but it was so hard. I felt someone climb up the end of my bunk bead & I knew that an elf was looking at me to make sure I was asleep. I wanted to peek so bad to see the elf, but I knew if I did, no presents. I wasn't going to risk it. So I kept my eyes shut until I knew the elf had left my room.

I wanted to jump out of bed to take a peek at Santa and his elves leaving all their goodies for us, but I couldn't chance it. I wasn't much of a risk taker, I follow directions, so I stayed in bed.

A little while later I heard the bells jingle on the front door again & I knew that Santa was gone. I looked out my bedroom window up into the sky & could see a red blinking light going across the sky. I knew this was Rudolph pulling Santa's sleigh back to the North Pole.

I had experienced Christmas magic at it's best for I knew that Santa was real.

I hope you enjoyed the trip back to my past. And my close encounter with Santa story. If you want to see more Christmas, you can hop over to my other blog Starshine Chic to see my Christmas tablescapes that I reposted for Sunday Favorites as well as for 2 other blog parties. And if you really want to get in the Christmas mood & missed last weeks Sunday Favorites post over at my other blog, I shared my Christmas decor from 2008.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

I hate bugs!!!!

Last night it was hot in our house. So once it cooled down outside I do what I always do. I open the sliding glass door & put the huge fan in the doorway to blow in the cooler air from the outside to hopefully cool off the inside.

Normally because the fan is blowing, no bugs dare to come inside. That is, until last night. I'm sitting in the reclining chair in my family room watching "America's Got Talent" on the TV. When all of a sudden I see something long & dark moving across the carpet at a high rate of speed. At first I thought it was a small snake, but the way it was moving made me think it was a centipede. And it was heading straight for the chair I was sitting in!!!!

I screamed bloody murder & jumped out of the chair. The centipede then went under my chair. Mike & Brandon came running in to see why I was screaming. I told them there was a snake or a centipede under my chair. They lifted up the chair, but nothing was there.

They thought I was pulling a prank on them (this goes on a lot in our house of men). I assured them I was not pranking them. I reminded them that they were the pranksters, not me.

I told them they had to find that sucker & kill it. I wouldn't be able to sleep knowing that horrid creature was in my house. Mike gave up & went back to watching TV. Brandon decided it was best to help me. We got the flashlight but couldn't see anything under the tables, the chair or the couch. We decided to then flip over the couch.

Once we flipped the couch, the centipede was playing dead on the carpet below. I yelled for Mike & he came back in, picked up my book I was reading earlier (well it was actually Jodi's book, New Moon) & threw it down on the centipede (sorry Jodi, it doesn't have much guts on it. lol). It stunned the centipede enough for Mike to spray it with RAID!!!!

Brandon then scooped it up onto a piece of paper to take out to the trash. But not before I could take a photo so I could blog about it. You all knew I was going to blog about it didn't you?

Isn't it gross???? It was thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis big!!! Which is about 12 inches long!!! Just kidding, it was between 4-5 inches long. Still too big for me. Oh, and the moisture on the paper above is not guts. It's RAID, dripping off his body onto the paper. At least that is what I am telling myself.

I'm so happy that we found the sucker & killed it and it's safely dead in the trash. I wouldn't have been able to sleep last night if I thought this thing was lose in my house & could crawl in bed with me. Too creepy!!! Not to mention the fangs on that thing. Brandon googled centipedes & found out that their bite is like a sting. Hurts like hell, but won't kill you. I'm just glad I didn't have to find out.


P.S. Brandon just told me that when he was taking the centipede out to the trash the wind blew it off the paper & it fell in the strawberries in the front walk way. What????? What if it wasn't really dead? It could crawl back in my house through the gap at the bottom of my security screen!!!! How am I ever going to be able to sleep again?

P.S.S. He said he was just pranking me again. It's really dead & really in the garbage can. He says I'm too easy to prank. He just couldn't resist. See what I have to put up with everyday?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Favorites-Things that go bump in the night

It's time for Sunday Favorites hosted by Chari at Happy to Design. Be sure to visit her blog to see this week's participants. Sorry that I'm late in posting my Sunday Favorites post. But it's Sunday & I'm slow to get started. I originally posted this story on 9/20/08.

It all started last night as I went to bed around midnight. As I was getting into bed my nose brushed up against the netting that is around our bed. Since I didn't have my contacts in I didn't see it. This scared the crap out of me (lukily not literally). I thought I had run into someone. I started laughing as I got so scared by something so minor.

Then about 3:30 this morning I got up for my nightly visit to see John. I was trying to stay asleep as much as possible so that when I got back in bed I would be able to drift back to dreamland. I was back in bed only a minute when I heard something in the back yard move real fast, then a loud crash & then the sound of something going over the fence & rustling in the landscaping (or in my case weeds) on the other side. I jumped out of bed to see what was the clatter.

As you know, I am quite blind without my contacts & I can't see much better with my glasses. And it was pretty dark out back. I couldn't see a thing. Mike said it was probably a cat. I said it must have been a huge cat as it made so much noise. I stood in our room looking out our french doors for a minute or two. I kept hearing rustling sounds around the yard, but couldn't see anything.

What was it? My heart was racing, my adrenaline pumping. Normally I would make Mike check it out, because I am such a scaredy cat, but not this morning. For some reason I felt brave (probably because I am now officially old) I decided to investigate. I grabbed Mike's flash light & ventured outside. I had no clue what I might find. My mind was racing with thoughts as to what it could have been. Was it aliens? (this was my first thought), ghosts, a bobcat, a burglar (I really didn't want to think it was this one as all I had was a flash light as a weapon)?

I flashed my light around the yard, but couldn't see anything moving except for our cat Missy. See was looking at the fence like she was trying to see something on the other side. I crept closer, when I got to where she was I could see that my little green wagon was the thing that crashed. It was knocked over on it's side with everything that had been sitting in it on the ground. Well at least part of the mystery had been solved. I found what went bump in the night.
But was caused the wagon to fall over? I nervously looked over the fence & shined my flash light to the other side. Luckily I didn't see anything. I looked over the entire yard & never did find out what caused the commotion. I finally gave up & went back inside.

Mike said "I told you, it was that fat cat that has been hanging out in the yard". He is probably right, but I still think it was ALIENS!!!!


P.S. Mike can't believe that I am writing so much about nothing. He said he could have said it all in a few words. "Something woke us up at 3:30 in the morning"

The end.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Family Throwback

Welcome to our 1st edition of Friday Family Flashback. And what is Friday Family Flashback? I thought it would be fun to post old photos of people in our family, or old vacation photos. You can post any old photo really, as long as it involves family members or something that you did as a family. I love looking at old photos as they bring back such fond (usually) memories.

I thought I would start us off with a flashback to 2000 with my family, the Langston's. These photos were taken on Thanksgiving Day 2000 (I think). We took them in downtown El Cajon in front of the courthouse & city offices. Since Todd's family lived in Utah, we didn't get to see them very often. Since they were in town for this Thanksgiving we thought it would be great to take family photos.

Here is Mom and Dad with all of their grandchildren (at that time).

Me, Brandon & Mike. Mike and I were not married when these photos were taken. Mike's two sons Brandan & Jesse were not with us to be in the photos.
Andrea's boys: Zak (back row), Simon, Noah & Nate (front row, left to right). I think this is such an adorable photo.
Eric's kids: Jase, Taylor, Danica & Cade (left to right).

Langston grand kids
Andrea's family. Jamey & Andrea (back row). Zak, Nate, Simon & Noah (front row)
Todd's family: Tyler, Cathy, Todd, Erin Grace (back row). Colin, Daniella,, Mari & Julianna (front row). If I got anyone mixed up I'm sorry. I get the girls mixed up (except for Erin) as they are so close in age & we didn't get to see them all that often.
The whole family except for Jeannette. I just now noticed that she isn't in the photo. I don't remember her not being there. But then I don't remember her being there either. Where was Jeannette? Anyone in my family remember? Maybe she wasn't there & that is why I don't have a photo of Eric's family all together.

It was kind of fun going back in time. Let's do it again next week. If you are a member of my family & want to join in, please do so. If you have your own blog & want to post your flashback photos there, just let me know & I'll put a link to your blog. Or you can post them on this blog if you would like.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July Family Birthdays & an Anniversary wish!

I've been terrible at remembering to post birthday wishes to family members. So I thought I would wish everyone in our family with a July birthday, a Very Happy Birthday.

Happy Birthday to the following:
July 1: Daniella (Todd's daughter, Dorothy's grand daughter)
July 2: Colleen (Marti's daughter, Joni's grand daughter)
July 4: Ryan (Marilyn's son)
July 9: Julianna (Todd's daughter, Dorothy's grand daughter)
July 14: Emily (Joni's daughter)
July 15: Tina (Becky's daughter, Joni's grand daughter)
July 30: Erin Grace (Todd's daughter, Dorothy's grand daughter) myspace graphic comments

And while we are all here, I want to wish a Happy Belated Anniversary to Dorothy & Carlos (my mommy & daddy). Their anniversary was 7/11 and they have been married for 52 years. Congrats!!!!!
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If you or someone in your family has a July birthday or anniversary & you are not on my list, please let me know so I can add you. Also let me know if you have an August birthday or anniversary. I don't want to miss anyone and my birthday list is quite small. I'm still needing lots of family members birthdays. You can email me everyone in your family's birthday info to