Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas from Sacramento!

Merry Christmas to All and to All a Goodnight!

Christmas Eve and Christmas with the Sizemore's and all of our extended family.  With love and good tidings to all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's now flooding!

It's still raining here in SoCal (at least where I am). And because the ground is so saturated, it is now flooding everywhere. Maybe I do need to rethink that building an ark scenario.

Anyhoo, I want to show you some photos I took on my way in to work this morning. But first I want to show you something I saw on the 11:00 news last night.

I was watching ABC Channel 7 (LA station) and they were showing storm photos various people had sent in. When all of a sudden I recognized something. It was Eric's street. On the local news.

Here is a photo I took of the photo submitted that they showed on TV. It was submitted by someone named Justin Dewey. Hey Eric, do you know him? There is a truck in the middle of the street that looks like it is going to turn into a driveway. I think that is Eric's truck. It's about where Eric's house would be on this street.

It was kind of fun seeing Eric's street flooding making the local news.

Now on to the flooding I saw on my way to work. And no, I was not driving while taking the photos. Brandon was driving. And I'm sorry that some of the photos are somewhat blurry, but we were in a moving vehicle.

This is to the right of Interstate 215 heading north, between McCall & Ethanac. The fields were all flooded.

The Ethanac offramp was shut down for a rescue attempt. The frontage road is called Encanto & it always floods when it rains and they always close the road. But there is always some fool who drives around the barricades and got stranded. And now he has to be rescued.

Here is the fool that is on his car stranded. Why would you think you could drive through a lake? Your car is not a boat.

All along I215 through Perris it was flooded on both sides of the freeway.

Lake Perris. Wait, there is already a Lake Perris and it is about 5 miles north of here. So we will call this Mini Lake Perris. What you can't see from my blurry photo is that there were a bazillion seagulls. See, they already think it's a lake.

After the 2 mile stretch north of our house, the flooding went away. At least until we reached Riverside. Here the 215 was flooded under the Alessandro overpass.

I told Brandon to get over to the left, but it was too late. And it really didn't matter since all lanes of the freeway were flooded here.

The waters were quite choppy.

The entire freeway was flooded.

I love when the water splashes up as the cars go by. Good thing our windows were up.

And finally I thought this sign was kind of ironic. It says "Rain for Rent". I guess this business can go on Christmas vacation early. No one will be needing their services for quite a little while.

At least we made it to work in one piece. But I'm tired. I've been up since 4:30am because of the latest storm. This one was quite windy, which makes for a lot of noise. Do you think anyone will notice if I take a nap? Just kidding. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It Never Rains in California. Or so they say.

It's been raining for 40 days and 40 nights. Or so it seems. I feel like we should start building an ark. But wait, I don't have to, we already have a sailboat. And since I'm not Noah, God hasn't commanded me to take any animals on my boat. Well, except for Missy our cat.

Ok, so I exaggerated a little bit. I've been known to be a little over dramatic.

It has actually only been raining 4 days. But it has been non stop. It hasn't stopped raining at all. We've already had about a years worth of rain in 4 days.

So now the ground can take no more!!! It's rebelling and now we are suffering the consequences.

Exhibit #1:

Had to take a detour on my way to work this morning. It seems a tree decided to fall over and block this street we normally travel down. It took out a couple of power lines with it. At least it didn't fall on the house. Or on the guard dogs who usually lay on a table in this yard. And the wind wasn't even blowing. This is from the ground being too saturated.

And no, this is not my neighborhood. This is the neighborhood around where I work in Moreno Valley. Not in the best area. That is why this house usually has vicious looking guard dogs laying out front.

But my day has been easy so far, at least when you compare it to Eric's.

Exhibit #2:

This is Eric's street. Totally flooded.

They have this drainage canal right across the street from their house. When it rains, it can fill up fast.

Then it overflows into their street.

So what is Eric to do?

Move to higher ground! This is Eric's downstairs living room. They decided they better move their furniture upstairs. Just in case the flood waters reach their house.

But there is a silver lining in all of this. Eric has a pretty cool dance floor for Christmas. We will be busting some cool moves come Christmas.

Oh, and I have a boat to get there. Bon Voyage!!!

What are your plans for Christmas? And how is the weather in your neck of the woods? Do tell.


P.S. Everyone have life jackets?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Taylor & Michael's first apartment

On Wednesday night Taylor (my niece and Eric's daughter) and Michael had a little house warming open house. So we went over to see their first apartment.

Here is the master bedroom. The bed pretty much takes up the entire room. I think the bedding was a wedding gift. The end tables came from Michael's parents. I think they had been his brothers.

Between the master bedroom on the left & the bathroom on the right hangs this picture that Taylor did.

Here is another one of Taylor's paintings. This one hangs on the stair case.

This is the extra bedroom upstairs. They are using it as an office. Sorry the photo is so dark. I don't like to use my flash.

A wall in the extra bedroom.

Another one of Taylor's drawings. You always have something to put on the walls when you are an artist.

One of their wedding gifts.

The other wall & Taylor in the extra bedroom.

This was on the bathroom wall. Another wedding gift.

And this Indonesian looking statue. I want to call it Buddha. But isn't Buddha fat? He resides in their bathroom as well.

Looking down into their living room area from the stairs. This is the right half of the room. Taylor's friends Ashley (the blond) and Michelle.

Left side of living room with Mike (mine), Michael (Taylor's) and Danica. The couch and coffee table came from Eric & Jeannette's.

On the living room staircase wall resides the "Eternal" picture I made for them as a wedding shower gift.

Taylor & Michael opening up my house warming gift.

I gave them a jar of home made hot chocolate mix. Yes, I made it myself with the help of Stephanie Lynn over at Under the Table and Dreaming. Got the recipe and the labels over at her website. She also has a recipe for making your own marshmallows. But I wasn't that adventurous. I bought my mini marshmallows at the store. And I also gave them a couple of Christmas mugs to drink their hot chocolate in. They loved my gift.

Here everyone is drinking hot cider. And boy was it hot!!! Here we have Eric, Mike, Jesse and Michael. You can see behind Eric an opening beneath the stairs. Here is where Taylor and Michael have their TV and their dog Tonk's dog bed/cage.

They have some wedding photos hanging on this short wall in their living room. On the other side of this wall is another bathroom. I totally forgot to take any photos in there. And they had a cute tile someone had made for them with a temple silhouette and something else on it (I've already forgotten). Cute idea for a wedding gift.

Here is Taylor and Michael's first Christmas tree. It was so cute.

The kitchen area has room for this small table and chairs. This came from Eric & Jeannette's as well as the bench in the back. Aren't parents the greatest? I've always loved hand me down furniture. Hand me down clothes, yuck, but furniture, I love.

To the left of the table and chairs Taylor has a set of 3 small Christmas trees (another hand me down from mommy).

And finally the other half of the kitchen. Here is Taylor and her friends Amanda and Ashley. Taylor is lucky to have a dishwasher. The fridge is located to the right, I forgot to get a photo of that part of the kitchen. I should have also taken a photo of her cute red microwave.

I loved Taylor and Michael's apartment. It was so cute. They have done a great job furnishing it (thanks to the moms and dads) and decorating it (thanks to cute wedding gifts and Taylor being a talented artist).

Sorry that I couldn't get complete rooms in one shot. Their apartment is pretty small (but just the right size for the two of them), so I couldn't back up far enough to get entire rooms at once.

And I didn't get any photos of their dog Tonks. She was sleeping the whole time we were there.
But you can see what their dog looks like in this photo. Except she is already twice as big. She is going to be a huge dog.

Thanks Taylor and Michael for having us over and for letting me share your apartment with the rest of the family. We love you!!!

Aunt Kim

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Another Arizona Vacation

Got back yesterday from another yearly vacation in Arizona. This is the first year we have gone in December. We usually go in August (call us gluten's for punishment). December is the perfect time of year to visit Arizona.

This year we went to Scottsdale instead of Cave Creek. We again went with Mom, Dad & Jodi. This is our Christmas gift from them. Jesse decided to stay home this year.

It was almost the perfect vacation. The weather was perfect and we shopped, ate, shopped and shopped and ate some more.

Brandon and Dad stayed at the condo most of the week. Mom and Jodi mostly shopped at Walmart, Target and Kohl's.

I really didn't take many photos with family members. But I did get a few photos. Here is Brandon & Jodi watching TV.

Mike and I spent the week shopping at thrift stores and antique stores. We did eat lunch one day at the Cheesecake Factory. Only because I had won a gift card at an insurance class awhile back. It came in handy while on vacation.

On Thursday night we all went to the Mesa temple to see the lights. It was quite beautiful.

Mike and I stayed longer than the rest of the group. We caught the tail end of a musical concert. And then spent time just walking around the temple grounds taking in all the lights.

We then went inside the visitor center where they had different nativities from around the world on display.

After leaving the temple we drove around to check out the Christmas lights around Phoenix. We found this one house that had sooooooo many lights and displays. The guy there said it takes 4 people 2 months to set up all the lights and displays.

There was just sooo much to see and take in. It was sensory overload. I should have asked the man what his electric bill was like.

I did take a few photos the morning we were packing up to leave. Here is Jodi putting ice in one of their coolers for the long trek home.

Brandon and Dad waiting for the "round em up and head them out" signal.

Mom waiting inside while the truck is packed up.

And finally when it was time to leave. The perfect vacation came to a screeching halt. Dad's truck had a flat tire. But don't worry, AAA came to the rescue and changed the tire.

And everyone made it home safe and sound.