Saturday, February 28, 2009


Mom, Evelyn & Dad at Horse Thief Park in Stallion Springs
May 28, 2008

Today is my mom's birthday so I wanted to share three of my most memorable moments of her with everyone.  It was really hard to narrow it down to 3.  There's so many great ones.

#1.  I used to love going to the orthodontist!  I know, weird, huh?  But the reason being that those were always our one on one times and I always looked forward to that.  Being #2 of 4 kids it wasn't always easy to get any one of one so my orthodontist trips always doubled for one on one time.  The hour long trip to Bakersfield always turned into a pleasant talk with mom and she would always buy me a Wendy's frosty afterwards to make my teeth feel better.  To this day I can't eat a frosty without thinking of her and being reminded of our many talks.

#2.  I remember so many times when my mom would stay up with me and help with my homework.  One particular memory I have occurred my senior year in High School.  I felt so overwhelmed with school, seminary, sports, my part time job and all the other social anxieties a typical teenager goes through.  Needless to say I wasn't getting a whole lot of sleep.  This particular night I had an assignment to read several chapters in my English book and I just could not keep my eyes open long enough to even read a sentence.  My mom noticed I was struggling so she stayed up and read the book out loud to me.  I may have been mostly asleep, I honestly don't even remember whether we got through the reading or not but I'll never forget how she helped me.  

#3.  The last one was right after my dad was in a major car accident.  He's fine now and crazier than ever but one thing I'll never forget about that time is how strong my mom was.  I'm sure I will never know the extent of what she had to go through but even during that trying time she was always a terrific mother and she always made us feel like everything was going to be alright.  Her courage, strength, and faith is something I have always admired about her.    

Happy Birthday MOM!  Thanks for always being such an amazing mother.  Thanks for always being there for me.  Thanks for always listening to me and being one of my closest friends.  Thanks for setting such a great example.  And thanks for teaching me and making me a pretty dang good mom too.  Thank you for everything! I LOVE YOU!

Not to be forgotten.  My dad's birthday is also in the month of February.  I think he may have missed it so for his clicking pleasure I thought I'd include a link just in case.  I didn't get the chance to spend as much time on his but I promise I'll expand later and tell you all the wonderful things about my awesome dad too (like his favorite color is green and he likes fish...)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

My Birthday

February 26, 2009~

Today, the 26Th is my Birthday!  I am a quarter of a century old.  Lately I've had a hankering to bake something (this almost never happens) so I decided today would be the day.  I originally thought birthday cake but after rethinking it I decided what I really wanted was Lemon Meringue Pie.  So I did it, I baked my first pie!  

Homemade Crust

The finished product (not the best picture).  Tasted really great!

In The News!

Got to go on the news and talk about the movie. It was really early... hopefully that explains why I look totally stoned. Enjoy! See you all TOMORROW!!!!

*NOTE*: For whatever reason the video gets cut off on the right by the blog... so you can just double click in the top left of the video and it will open up a larger video.

Operation: Stay cool, calm & collected

February 26, 2009~

Lately for whatever reason I've been a little short tempered with the kids.  As a result I've actually been able to see a difference in the kids' temperament.  Instead of asking me for things they whine and cry and they fight like mortal enemies.  It always seems like we're in a constant struggle; they scream, I scream, they scream louder, etc.  And the louder, madder and more short tempered I get the louder, madder and more short tempered they get.  So I've decided to NEVER scream and always keep a totally calm head.  That way the situation will never get too escalated and they'll realize that it's easier just to stay calm.  I'd like to think I'm naturally like that.  Andy used to tell me that's one of the things he liked most about me, that I maintained the "3 C's".  But lately I've just been a little crazy.  Anyway, yesterday (Day 1) went great.  The kids were still out of control but slightly less so than usual and I managed to go the entire day without losing my cool.  Today is about the same so far, but it's my birthday so that always puts me in a better mood.  I certainly don't expect to get instantaneous results but I am pretty optimistic.  I've certainly been able to see the major downturn these past few weeks.

I should also mention that by not yelling at the kids I am not excusing anything they do and they certainly won't be getting away with any more than usual.  I still expect to hand out my fair share of spankings and stern warnings (not screaming) but I'll at least be in the right frame of mind when doing so.  Wish me luck.  Who knows, maybe I just have uncontrollable kids and this is my excuse for a crazy physiological experiment but I'll certainly keep you informed on how it goes, successful or not.

UPDATE:  I wrote this post on February 26th but didn't get around to posting it until March 21st.  Since I started with my no yelling policy things have surprisingly gotten better.  I can't exactly say I haven't screamed at all since then but it's definitely a lot more rare and the kids take me more seriously when I do.  I've definitely seen an improvement in them.  They've been a lot more calm and as a whole I think we've all been happier with the new change.  I would say it's a success!

Happy Birthday Sweetheart!

Today Amber is a quarter of a century old! I wanted to publicly express how much I love Amber. She is the sweetest, kindest, prettiest, wife anyone could ever ask for. Not to mention is probably the most patient wife there is, because I don't know how she puts up with me.
It was love at first site, about six and a half years ago and my life was completely changed that fateful day. I love you honey! Thanks for being my wife and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


It's almost here... I'm ready for it to be over already.

Anyway, the Bakersfield Californian wrote a wicked sweet article on the film today so go grab a paper or check it out HERE or

See ya on Friday!

Run Pictures

Feb. 25, 2009~
I know I keep rattling on about how nice the weather is and how amazing all the trees and plants are but here's one more... (I can't help myself).

Today on my run I made a little variation of my running route.  I crossed over the train tracks and ran alongside the orchard and the tracks.  Here's what I saw.  Granted I took these with my phone so they're not the highest quality but I was amazed by how pretty it looked (and smelled too).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Good Day☺

February 19, 2009
Today... was a good day.  It's hard NOT to be happy when you have weather like today.  I woke up totally ready to get stuff done.  I managed to clean the front half of the house, completely spot clean the dining room carpet, dust everything and thanks to LISA I got a good start at cleaning the crayon on Evelyn's walls.  The trick, for anyone wondering, is a combination of baking soda and water made into a paste.  It still takes a good amount of elbow grease but it works!  Anyway, I digress.

I have been totally enjoying the trees blossoming all over town lately and then this morning I looked out my kitchen window to see this.  Yay! 

While I was admiring the amazing backyard view I got a call from the library telling me that the book I've had on hold for weeks is in.  Double YAY!  I didn't have a car seat for Preston so Liz let me put him down for his nap over at her house and Evelyn and I got a little girl time out.  I took her to the library to pick out some books (and get my own).  Everyone has been raving about this book so it better be worth the 6 weeks I spent waiting for it. **UPDATE: I FINISHED IT! AND IT WAS WAY WORTH IT!**

We still had some time before we had to be back so we took a little detour to the marketplace.  And thanks to this seriously expired* gift certificate that's stuck around for years in my wallet we got some delicious Coldstone ice cream. 

*the fine print on the coupon says "expires December 31, 2005 except in Ca... etc."

And we enjoyed the beautiful fountain.  Evelyn was afraid of falling in so she wouldn't get too close but I did manage to get this really cute picture of her.  I gave her a coin to throw in the fountain and she actually caught me off guard by how excited she was when I told her that she got to make a wish too.  She talked about it all the way back to the car.

When we got back the kids hung out with Grandma and Grammy for a few minutes and then we did a bit of this...

This is how we roll!  Preston's great at riding the handlebars.  I kept trying to scoot him back onto the seat but he preferred riding further up.  I think his little butt fits just right between the bars.  In case your wondering this IS NOT dangerous.  With our combined weight the bike tops out at about 5 MPH.  I think you could probably outrun us if you wanted too.  We drove around and then went around the back to check these out...

There's sheep practically in our backyard.  Granted it's kind of stinky sometimes when the wind shifts directions but it's fun to go out and watch them.

And to top everything off I get to write this blog and share my great day with YOU.  And you know YOU'RE awesome!

Just Enjoying the Weather

February 18, 2009
Today we spent a good amount of time outside since the weather was so nice.  We took Dmitri outside for a bit and then Evelyn took Sophie for a walk.  In Evelyn's attempt at dressing herself she managed to put both her shirt and pants on backward.  I don't know how obvious it is in the pictures but it was pretty funny.

Preston had a good time too.  He managed to get about 10 yards out the door before completely face planting in a mud puddle.  And then he wandering around the yard bringing me all the sticks, berries, and poky balls he could find.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

In Lake Isabella with the Hunters

January 31, 2009~
Some friends of ours, the Hunters, took us up to their place in Lake Isabella to hang out and go rock climbing (since I'm an experience rock climber and all!)  The rock climbing part ended up not working out but we did have a really enjoyable time just hanging out.  

Here we are on the Dam corner! (Check out the sign in the background).  Minutes later we stopped at the Dam store.--->

<---The kids playing in the dirt.

How cute is this face?

Evelyn's starting a collection.  I couldn't believe she actually picked up this big rock.

Going on a nature walk

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I'm sure you all remember being asked this in grade school.  Today I've been thinking a lot about all the occupations I've wanted throughout the years and while they're all fresh in my mind I thought I'd share.  To be honest I've never really known what I've wanted to do.  Even coming out of High School I had no clue and I guess you can say I've always been trying to figure it out.  Even now that I have time to set it aside I think about it.  Some day I do plan to go back to school and I'm hoping I'll have some idea by then.  But for the time being here's an updated list of all the jobs I've wanted throughout the years.  Some of them I gave up on years ago and some of them (the last 3) I'd still like to do.

#1 is a CLOWN.  When I was real little (like 4-6) I thought I was hilarious and I loved to make people laugh by doing stupid things.

#2 is a COMEDIAN.  Someone tipped me off to the fact that you couldn't actually go to "clown school" (7-8).  When I turned 8 and started to calm down I realized that my "humor" was just me being goofy.

#3 is a VETERINARIAN.  When we moved we started a collection of pets; dogs, cats, etc.  I've always really like animals and felt a connection with them but I realized a few years later that I'd never want to operate on or put an animal down (9-12).

#4 is a PRO SOCCER PLAYER.  My parents started putting me in different sports and I really took to soccer.  I continued to play several years of AYSO and a few years in High School but I realized that as much as I like it I'd never be good enough to play professionally (12-14).

#5 is a PARK RANGER.  I've always loved nature.  It's amazing.  So I figured the perfect job would be to live in the woods and take care of it, solve problems and help people. (14-16)

#6 is a volunteer in the PEACE CORPS.  I can't imagine a more satisfying job than to travel the world and help people.

#7 is a MARINE BIOLOGIST.  I love the ocean and animals so it was a perfect fit.  Science was always one of my favorite subjects and I was thrilled by the idea that I'd get to spend weeks at a time on a boat studying new species.  A little bit different but in the same field I also thought it would be a blast to work at Sea World with the underwater animals.  I'd still love to do it but I don't know how practical it would be living in Bakersfield.

#8 is a ZOOLOGIST.  As much as I love water animals I still really like land animals.  I LOVE going to the zoo.  It would be a dream job for me to care for and study any kind of animal.  Especially the babies (their SO cute).

#9 is a PHYSICAL THERAPIST.  I tossed around the ideas of getting a biology degree, a P.E. degree or Kinesiology degree.  I also took a class in nutrition and really enjoyed it.  But the problem was that not one of these had exactly what I wanted and then I read a description of what a Physical Therapist did and I was hooked.  It's the perfect combination of all my interests and to top it off I'll get to change peoples lives for the better.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tune in to the MoneyWise show tonight at 6!

Andy's going to be on the MoneyWise show tonight to talk about his BIG movie premier!  It's from 6-7PM on KERN 1180 AM or online live.  If you have a question for him you can call in at 842-KERN(5376) or 1-800-640-KERN.  He's AWESOME and he'll do a great job so listen in! And make sure you buy your tickets to the premier ASAP before they sell out!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Birthday DAD!

Happy Belated Birthday DAD!
You're AWESOME! Thanks for being the best dad and grandpa EVER!
Andy, Amber, Evelyn & Preston
Dad, Evelyn & Eliza at the Long Beach Aquarium
January 22, 2008

In honor of my dad I thought I'd publish his infamous Mac & Cheese recipe.  This recipe is one of my all time favorites.  Not only because it tastes really good but it's super easy to make and it's a HUGE hit with the kids.

1 pound velveeta cheese
1 stick butter
1 cup milk
1 pound large elbow noodles

Cook the noodles al dente.  In a separate pot combine the cheese, butter, and milk.  Cook the mixture over low heat and stir frequently.  Drain the noodles and add the cheese mixture.  You can either enjoy as is or put in a baking dish topped with cheddar cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 min.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Has it really been that long?

As of February 14 (Valentine's Day) Andy and I have been married for 6 years.  It's insane that it's been so long because it seriously doesn't seem like it.  It's been a great 6 years.  Andy is an awesome husband and father to our kids.  He has so many amazing qualities and talents that make him who he is.  He's brilliant, ambitious, loving and fun. I am so proud to be married to such a great man and I love every minute that I get to spend with him.

To celebrate we headed out early, with no kids thanks to Nichole, for a day to just do whatever we wanted to do.  Andy left the day wide open and we totally just winged it as we went along.  First we did some driving around to all our old stomping grounds; our first apartment as a married couple, the apartment we managed for a while, etc.  Then we headed over to the mall, did a little window shopping and ate a nice lunch at Red Robin where they, according to Andy have "the best burger in Bakersfield".

After filling our bellies with yummy food we went over to Camalot for a couple of competitive games of air hockey, which is like our "it" game.  In the past we've always been about equally matched but this time Andy seriously kicked my trash.  Luckily for me his victory was short lived because afterwards we played a game of miniature golf and I beat him (although I think he might have rigged the numbers in my favor).

We scoped out the new books at Barnes and Nobles and I snapped this great picture of Andy chillin' on the ground.

Lastly we drove downtown and walked to the top of the parking structure by Andy's office for a cool view of Bakersfield.  And then we walked around downtown and checked out the local scenery before heading back to pick up the kids.  

Thanks for such a great day Andy!  And for a wonderful past 6 years.  I'm looking forward to many many more great years with you.  Happy Anniversary!  I LOVE you!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Big Announcement!

I thought this post would never come, but here it it. It's official! My first feature film premiere! Mark your calendars for February 27th at 7:00pm at the Fox Theater in Bakersfield, CA... be there or be square. It's finally here!

So check out the movies cool new website HERE

And I'm even on IMDB! Check my empty, but sweet IMDB page HERE.

*EDIT: Tickets are $6 and are available on the website, from me, or at the door that night.*

And I thought my kids were busy

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Host Review

I recently finished reading Stephanie Myers' book The Host.  From the very beginning I was hooked.  I loved the premise.  I mean, super nice body snatching aliens and "the resistance".  Very interesting.  I even like the two conflicting personalities sharing one body.  Hmm... Even more interesting still, and a little weird, is that each personality is in love with a different person.  Can you say "love square"?  Has this ever been done before because I don't believe I've ever heard of it before.  The highlights for me were her adjusting to her new body, the conflicts between the two personalities, the few times they left the caves and the ending.  The only complaint I might have are that it did drag just a little in the middle when it goes into detail about the day to day life in the caves; chores, eat, sleep... All in all I really like it and would certainly recommend it to anyone.  I give it a 4.5 out of 5.

Rock Climbing in the Canyon

         Our friends, the Biglers, took us rock climbing (#8 on my res. list) at one of the roadside cracks in Kern River Canyon.  I'll admit I was terrified at first but I really wanted to go so I wiped off my sweaty palms, calmed my seriously beating heart and I DID IT!  After only a few times down the rock I managed to overcome my fear of heights and we had a totally awesome time.  Evelyn and Brayden even got a chance to go down.  Evelyn braved it much better than I could have imagined and she was already ready to go again the second her feet hit the ground.  We had such a great time!  I can't wait to go again.  Thanks Nathan and Stephanie for taking us!  You guys "ROCK"!

Monday, February 9, 2009

New Years 2009

January 1, 2009~
Our new years was the best ever! Andy's DJ'd a New Years dance for the last so many years so this year we decided to do something cool.  We
 went over to our friends, Nathan and Stephanie's, house.  We played games, watched movies, ate food and even shot off some fireworks.  The kids both managed to stay up past midnight and Evelyn got her first New Years kiss. More photos...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

To my fellow mountaineering team:

                   Mom, Kory, Nathan & Stephanie-
It's in!  I mailed our permit application in this morning to climb Mt. Whitney.  There's no going back now you guys.  We should get our acceptance letter and more info. by April (at the latest).

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In case you didn't get it...

Here it is for those who missed the viral reference from Amber's previous post.. here it is.