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Showing posts from December, 2009

Happy Birthday to ME!

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If you have little kids in your life, you know how excited they get when it's their birthday. At some point, adults tend to grow out of that phase and meet the anniversary of their birth with something more like dread than joy. But not me. My birthday is very close to my favorite day of the year. It wasn't always - Christmas Eve is a really miserable time if you want to have a birthday party and actually have people attend. When I was about ten, I told my parents that I was really unhappy that we spent every December 24th running around doing last minute Christmas shopping. From that year on, my parents really rose up and did everything they could to ensure that the last minute shopping took place on December 23rd. It couldn't have been easy for my parents, my little brother was born on New Year's Day, twelve months and one week after me. But I have to hand it to them, they really did a great job of making us feel like just being born was reason for celebration.

And th…

Rose Parade Work Day

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2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America. To celebrate the occasion, the Boy Scouts entered a float in the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade. Rose Parade floats have to be covered in 100% natural plant items, like flowers, seeds, spices, or bark. Part of the Boy Scout float design included small replicas of each of the 120 merit badges that are possible for a Scout to earn. These were made into shields that were to be carried by 120 Eagle Scouts walking in the parade in front of the float. They enlisted Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts from the Los Angeles area to come help decorate these shields. It was a big deal to be invited, as normally they don't let anyone under 12 in the big float decorating warehouses. We enthusiastically volunteered, even though it meant getting up at 5:00 a.m. on a Saturday and working for two hours in a freezing cold warehouse. After all, working on a Rose Parade float is a rite of passage for Southern Californians!

Each Scout had to be …

Class Party

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After nursing Nathan and Benjamin back to health during November, I spent almost the entire month of December sick. Every time I'd start to feel better, I'd come down with all new, miserable symptoms. I had some high hopes for this December, especially because we had nothing major planned in the way of travel or huge time obligations. I thought it would be the perfect time to pull out all the crafting supplies and maybe do some baking with the boys. Instead, it was a month of Michael wrapping up loose ends on one project while at the same time he jumped into a new project, and volunteered what little free time he had on another project. This translated into a month of the boys and I not really seeing Michael at all! Without him around to help, I didn't have the time or energy to do anything other than hold the bare minimum together. I made sure the boys ate, had clean clothes to wear, and that the bathroom was clean. Which actually wasn't that easy to do since we final…

PJ Birthday

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Michael's sister, Auntie Holly happened to have her birthday on Pajama Day at Nathan and Benjamin's school! So we took a little photo to create some birthday love for her. Unfortunately, she wasn't lucky enough to get to wear her pajamas to work on her birthday!

P.S. Nathan is sitting backwards on a metal trike. It looks a lot like a wheelchair in the photo, doesn't it? Weird.

Is there a Handsome Prince in the house?

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Sorry boys, I just couldn't help myself! The lines to meet the Princesses were quite long as soon as we got into the sound stage at the Studios. But as our allotted time drew to a close, we noticed the Princesses were getting restless, standing alone on their little stages, swirling their skirts with no one to talk to. So I forced the boys to go chat with some royalty. The only two we skipped were Princess Arial (as I mentioned in my last post, The Little Mermaid is my least favorite animated Disney film) who was sitting in a rock in her mermaid tail, and Pocahontas, who seemed just a bit too aggressive for this bunch of Disney Princesses!


Here we are with Disney's newest Princess, Tiana. She was quite sassy and fun, and pointed out to the boys that tucked away in a corner of the sound stage was her cupcake shop, where Mom and Dad could buy sweets for their little princes!

Here is our friends Ron and Selena's son Seth with Snow White. Seth was pretty enthusiastic about meet…

The Walt Disney Studios

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After a lonnnng winter's nap, we bring you back to our day at the Walt Disney Studios!
First off, let me show you the Studio Water Tower! The weather was so beautiful when we arrived, but cloudy and sprinkling when we left. I'm so glad we snapped this photo right when we got there! This is the icon for The Walt Disney Studios, which is visible from all over the studio lot. Construction on the tower began in 1938 and was completed in 1939. It no longer functions, but when it did, it originally held 150,000 gallons of water. Fun fact: The picture of Mickey and the words were not painted on until 1986! Also, the tower itself is 135.5 feet tall. That's only 11.5 feet shorter than the Matterhorn in Disneyland!
After the movie, we were brought to a sound stage where we got to visit every single one of the Disney Princesses! I was much more excited than the boys! But the boys were excited about the Bayou obstacle course and the carnival-style games where they could win Princess and…

The Princess and The Frog

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Many months ago we had the opportunity to get tickets for an amazing experience at The Walt Disney Studios. We could screen their latest film, The Princess and the Frog, and then have four hours to play on a sound stage set up with fun activities and meet all the Disney princesses. We got six tickets with the idea that the two extra tickets would go to some very specific people. Unfortunately, the people we had in mind were not available, so we asked Michael's sister, Auntie Holly, and one of the boys' friends, Seth, to come with us.
Unlike places such as Universal Studios or some of the television studios in Los Angeles, The Walt Disney Studios are not open to the public. In fact, they aren't even open to Disney employees unless you have a specific reason to be there. So getting to be among the first people to go see a screening at the actual studios was a big deal.
The film itself was classic Disney - hand drawn animation, big musical numbers, a brave heroine, an evil vi…

Happy Hanukkah!

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I grew up in Simi Valley, CA, in a neighborhood with a huge stone synagogue. Many families on my block were Jewish. It always seemed like we were the only ones without a menorah displayed prominently in the front window. For many years I actually thought I was Jewish too, and begged my neighborhood friends to teach me words in Hebrew. We participated in many Hanukkah, Passover, and Sabbath celebrations with our friends who were happy to have us there to join them. Fast forward 30+ years to this year, when six-year-old Benjamin went to the book fair at school and came home with his wish list of books. Every single book was about Hanukkah! I asked him why, and he told me confidently that it was because we celebrate Hanukkah. I told him that we didn't, but he was quite sure that we celebrate it every year. Of course, we do play with dreidels every year, but that is hardly celebrating Hanukkah. His enthusiasm, and matter of fact assertion that we do indeed celebrate it, didn't wan…

Sweet Tooth

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For at least the last twenty years, my Mom has been making this cherry cobbler-type dessert. She makes it just about every time we go to visit her, and she always makes it for breakfast. If you use your imagination, it's almost like a cherry pancake. At any rate, it's my favorite dessert that she makes. When I think of her house, it's the smell of this dish baking that I think of! I always thought it was so complicated that I couldn't handle making it myself. I'm not the baker in the family - Michael is. But when she gave me the recipe and I made it for a potluck, I was shocked at how simple it was. So in the spirit of giving, and in the spirit of massive amounts of holiday parties for the next month that you might need to bring a dessert to, I give you this recipe. Use it well!
Grandma Rose's Cherry Dessert
Ingredients: 1 21oz can of Comstock's More Fruit Cherry (Generally on deep discount this time of year!) 1 cup sugar 1 cup self rising flour (Different from …

Pajama Party!

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Our friend Amy throws a huge Christmas pajama party each year for our friends who have kids. Everyone dresses up in their pj's and brings a breakfast dish to share. This is a group who knows how to throw a potluck... so many yummy made-from-scratch items to choose from! I made a baked cinnamon and cream cheese french toast dish. Mmmm...
The nice thing about wearing your pj's to a party is that it's very comfy. You don't have to suck in your stomach or deal with achy feet in high heels. The unfortunate thing about wearing your pj's to a party is that no one above the age of 11 looks good in their jammies! We all look a bit like lumps! The kids had a blast though. We do a gift exchange for them and it's completely chaotic and so much fun to see 30 kids ripping into the gifts at the same time! Here are about two-thirds of the kids this year (they wouldn't all fit in one photo!). Last year it was a much smaller group, lots of new kids this year! Here is my littl…

Let the parties begin!

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This is the time of year when every Friday and Saturday night and Sunday afternoon is filled to the brim with holiday parties and gift exchanges. It's exhausting!
First up, the Cub Scout Christmas Dinner.
This party was a potluck, and I was on my own with the boys. Michael was stage managing a show, so I had to take the kids myself. There was a huge miscommunication regarding one of the activities. At first, we were told that each boy would need to furnish a centerpiece for half a table. Then, we were told that each boy would need to bring some arts and crafts supplies and actually decorate the table, not just bring a centerpiece. So, being the arts and crafts maven that I am, I brought along a bunch of craft supplies and rolls of colored paper for the boys to make something with. Of course, when I walked through the door, each table already had a nice red table cloth on it and there were plenty of lovely centerpieces... Ugh! So, I made Nathan and Ben sit down and make a couple of …

One Week Old!

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I've received a deluge of email regarding my tiny baby cousin Brooke so I thought I would give you an update! First of all, Mama Vanessa stabilized enough to go meet her baby when she was a few days old. Just being able to hold her daughter helped bring her blood pressure down. A few days later they finally gave Vanessa the all clear to go home. Of course, the sad part is that Baby Brooke will remain in the NICU until possibly January 30th, her original due date.


But considering this little Miss is completely off all supplemental oxygen, has already gained back the 8 ounces she lost after birth, and is growing stronger every day, no one will be surprised if she gets to come home just a tiny bit before that.

You never want to mess with any of the Rose women. They are all pretty tough chicks! Even the tiniest one!