Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rudolph by Owen

It's not a sad song, but for some reason this makes me cry!

Saturday, December 20, 2008


December is party time! It always starts off early in December with the annual Dean family Granddaughters' Luncheon, hosted by Chris' grandmother Pearl. We get to enjoy a whole afternoon in her beautiful home, where we are treated like royalty. There is always a delicious lunch where we sit at a gorgeously decorated table while she serves us. We always have a fun little gift at each of our places. And Grandmommy will come in and give us little lessons on caring for our linens or silver or other lessons of refinement. It is a treat that we look forward to every year. Did I mention she is in her nineties?? She is an amazing woman! I want to be just like her.

Here she is with all the girl cousins at the Dean family party (everyone gets invited to this one!)

It is such a fun tradition. The kids have a blast playing with all of their cousins. There are about four ride on cars that are being driven recklessly at all times. So far no casualites! And we always have a big jumper.

Of course it's not all fun and games. We have our Christmas program, with the traditional nativity.

Some like the program more than others...

And on to the next party.

Owen and Ethan at our ward Christmas party. They managed to have snow for us! The kids loved it.

I hope the Sorensons don't mind, but I had to put this in to show their holiday spirit. They were part of the Christmas parade - they looked great!

And of course Holiday Open House at the School... where we get to do all kinds of fun things. Owen was a little shy to sit on Santa's actual lap. This was our compromise...poor santa!

Lots of singing and performing.

And more singing and performing!

We don't have many more years left of this so I am trying to tell myself to enjoy it while it lasts!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nice Job Smartie Pants!

Hooray for Shelby!! She made the honor roll with all 5s (a "5" is an "A"). We are so proud of her. Here she is at Friday Flag receiving her award.

Monday, December 8, 2008

The Halls are Decked!

We love Christmas! It is so exciting to pull down all of those boxes from the attic and be in a crazy mess for a few days. Just ask Chris! He did a great job putting up the lights (braving the second story for the second year in a row- my hero!).

Saturday, December 6, 2008

And the band played on

Lindsay had a band performance in Old Town (love the vest and bowtie Linds!). We sat outside in the pouring rain but they played their Christmas music enthusiastically. Luckily Dad saved the day by running across the street for Starbucks hot chocolate to warm our cold hands. On the way back through Old Town we stumbled across SNOW! There were huge mounds of snow piled up behind the children's museum (leftovers from their Winter wonderland party the night before.)

It made for a very fun, very impromptu snowball fight.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Card Photo Shoot

What a perfect place to take Christmas card pictures! We love Coronado and the Hotel Del. We hurried down after church where we met our Photographers aka Jenni and Rob. We only had about an hour of daylight so we ran around snapping tons of pictures. As a bonus, our photographers invited us back to their house for dinner. What a deal!
We're definitely using them again next year!

And the winner is...

Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Turkey Day

A family tradition we have established is to eat not one, but two fabulous Thanksgiving meals on Thanksgiving Day. It actually isn't as hard as it may sound. Lunch with the Watsons at noon and then on down to feast with the Keelers for dinner. It takes a little bit of self-restraint not to stuff yourself at the first meal, but we've been in training for a few years now. A few before dinner pics at Grandma and Grandpas.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Go Padres!

Owen started T-Ball this fall. It has been perfect for him (and me!) because they meet on Saturdays for an hour for a game/practice. He has loved it! It has been hillarious to watch the games. Most of the kids are younger than Owen, so they are pretty much clueless. The first week he fielded a ball and then was actually tackled by a teammate. The kid took the ball from him and then just stood there. Owen just looked at us so confused.

Playing catch with Dad.

Killing time in the outfield.

Power hitter at bat.

The team.

Monday, November 10, 2008

SF Sweethearts

I found visual documentation! Taken from a photo booth on Pier 39!

Celebrating in San Fran

Chris had a conference to attend in San Francisco on Thursday. We decided to use it as an excuse to celebrate his birthday. Actually, he was invited to be the keynote speaker for the CALSPRA conference. Chris throws around a lot of acronyms - but I believe this one stands for California School Public Relations Administrators. In case you didn't know, he is in high demand as a conference speaker. He has lots of fans! Since it's his birthday, I'll toot his horn a little by directing you to his firm's website. He started the firm about 2 1/2 years ago with 7 other partners. They are now employing 50 attorneys and have offices in San Marcos, Santa Monica and Oakland. It's pretty impressive to see how far they have come. Of course, I have witnessed (and maybe complained about) the hard work and long hours it has taken to make their vision real. But I am proud of him and all he has accomplished! Check it out!

Anyway, we literally ate our way through San Francisco and had a great time doing it. I forgot to recharge the camera batteries, so unfortunately we have no visual documentation of this trip and all the fun and beautiful sites. We were on the 25th floor of our hotel - so one of the best parts was our amazing view of the city, the bay, Alcatraz island and Coit Tower (the picture isn't quite as good as our view but pretty close). There are so many amazing restaurants in SF. Our first night we ran around the corner to a restaurant recommended by the concierge and found ourselves in this little alleyway filled with tables and people all crammed in together having dinner. It reminded us so much of Europe. We literally sat right next to Jerry Brown who was on a double date. We tried to eavesdrop - and we did hear Prop 8 mentioned but we didn't want to be too obvious! We made some new friends due to our tables actually being the same table - a retired Stanford professor and his wife and a couple from New Zealand who were in the US to run the NY marathon. She had just come from a photo shoot with Harvey Keitel. She asked what I did - "I'm just a mom of three kids from Temecula". It still felt good to say that!

We walked all over creation this weekend! We would just start in a direction and walk and walk. And stop here for a snack and there for a little "pick me up". Our hotel was between the Financial District and Chinatown - perfect place for cheap souveniers. In fact, Lindsay was a little put out when I accidentally left the price tag on her I {heart} SF t-shirt and she saw it was only $2.99. You gotta love that! We had some authentic chinese food at the place where shark fin soup originated - it was $60 a bowl, so we declined that one. We also ate at El Faro - home of the first burrito in California. We're just history buffs I guess. We went up Coit Tower, rode the cable cars - visited the Fungi Festival at the Ferry Building, ate clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls at Fisherman's wharf, visited our favorite restrooms at the St. Francis hotel in Union Square, had dinner with our friends the Hyders, and did a little shopping - how can you avoid that? It was the perfect combination for a weekend - and to celebrate another year of life with the love of my life! Happy Birthday Chris!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Goodbye Halloween

On Friday morning Owen woke up and said,"Is it the last day of Halloween?" I explained that it is actually the ONLY day of Halloween. But since we have been celebrating it going on two weeks now, I could understand his confusion. I was so thankful to say, "yes, hooray no more parties after today!" You can only dress your kids up so many times and have it still be fun, right? Well, here are some pictures from the last day of Halloween (and the night before the last day of Halloween). Don't get me wrong, it was fun. I'm just glad it's over!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Politics and Pumpkins

Here's what we've been up to this week...

Who knew political activism was so much fun!?! After being obsessed with the signs and bumper stickers for the last few weeks, Owen finally asked "What IS Prop 8?"

Our experiment - much better than carving, lasts longer, costs a lot more...
Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Bikers, Zombies and a Cat Lady - oh my!

We had our annual Keeler Family Halloween costume party this weekend.

I love this tradition! Everyone dresses up - even Mimi and Grandad (check them out this year!)

You may not know what Chris and I are dressed up as unless you watch a certain tv show which comes on Thursday nigths. Some people got it right away, others needed a little explanation.

We have had some really creative costumes over the years. This year I think the awards go to Crazy cat lady and renegade girl scout.

We usually eat dinner and play some games and it always includes a spooky story told by Mimi. Chris was entranced by his mom's storytelling.

Indiana Jones taking down a Bad Guy.

Jenni made adorable owl cupcakes!

We love belonging to such a fun family! Thanks to the Burnetts for hosting another great one!