Monday, November 29, 2010

Bah Humbug

We started decorating for Christmas on Saturday. And by we, I mean I started decorating. The boys made life irritating, and Eric watched football and did laundry. At least Eric's involvement in the process was a good trade.

It just wasn't the best of days because both boys were sick, fighting, squabbling, and being little rats. Christmas mess was everywhere along with regular mess.

I was jealous of all the happy and spirited posts on facebook proclaiming "the tree is up, decorations are done, and we are sitting by the fire sipping hot cocoa." Gag. I only say that because I was green with envy. Where was my tree? My cocoa? My cozy fire and happy kids? Oh yeah, sick with snot running down their faces and screaming at each other. Pleasant.

Some how, some way, I managed to get the decs up without any major mishaps. Note to self: if I throw something NECESSARY away such as oh say a tree stand, be sure to buy one right away rather until forgetting about it until a year later when we are trying to find the tree stand and can't figure out where in tarnation it went.

Messy table and two of the 14 or so boxes with Christmas stuff. Each year I say I need to cut back, and each year I can't bear to part with my pretty stuff.

Ugh. Where are the elves to help me put all this stuff out?

Pile of stuffed Christmas toys. These are the things Hudson is allowed to touch. He's got quite the talent for arranging them, don't you think?

The house is finally pulled together. I like my shelves o' Christmas.

I LOVE the little mini Santa and Elf clothes hanging on the line. I can look at these while I run on my treadmill. Or I can skip the treadmill, simply walk by this spot as I head to the kitchen, and enjoy them that way. Yeah, that sounds like the better plan.

My pretty nativity set that I got for Christmas two years ago.

If you are one of my four readers that has been reading this blog since last Christmas, the photos at this time of year look pretty much the same. I promise they are new ones from this year though!

In any case, I'm trying very hard to feel the Christmas joy. I'm trying. At least the house now looks pretty. The kids, however, are still snotty and screaming. So much for that cozy setting I was going for.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving Part 2

Yesterday we drove down to Bakersfield to have Thanksgiving all over again! We do it every year. At least we don't have the guilt of not spending the holiday with one family or the other. Each side gets us.

I didn't take too many pictures yesterday. I took two, to be exact. Here is the better of the two.

Hudson got to sit next to his cousin, Michael, who is a senior in high school and is an awesome athlete. All morning before we got to the IL's, Hudson kept saying, "I don't want to say hi to Michael." Who knows why? Once we were there, Hudson became Michael's shadow.

Being grandkid #13 on that side has its advantages. Everyone likes you!

Happy Thanksgiving, again.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

My mom, sister and nephews joined us for Thanksgiving at our house. Eric made prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes. No turkey for us! Man, was dinner good!

The four cousins played hard all day long. I love it when they play play play! They played inside. They played outside. They put train tracks together. They played baseball. They played on the swings. It's great having cousins close enough in age to be able to play and enjoy each other.

Mom, Tiff and I played a game called Sequence. Mom won two rounds. I won one. Ha ha, Tiffany! You lost!

We celebrated Eric's birthday with a Bulldog cake from Julie's shop. So adorable!

Eric also got a Bulldog lunch box/cooler from Tiff and a giftcard to Olive Garden from my mom. Yay! Dinner out. That is...unless he takes his girlfriend!

We are all pretty tired. Especially Hudson.

He is one worn out little boy. He's also fighting a cold, so that isn't helping his disposition. As much as this little yahoo makes me want to hide in my closet for hours, I am so thankful for him, his brother, and his daddy. I'm also thankful for my mom, my sister, and my nephews. It was a good holiday. I wasn't sad today without my dad, but I do miss him a lot. I can be thankful that he is looking down from Heaven and watching us grow and be happy.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Birthay Honey!

The boys helped me make brownies to surprise Eric for his birthday yesterday.

Evan was a little excited in singing his own funny version of Happy Birthday!

The boys helping Eric blow out his candles.

We had pork chops, onions and noodles for dinner. Then Eric opened his presents. Evan gave him a glove compartment tool kit. Hudson gave him a giftcard for iTunes. Then we had brownies. Then we danced in the bedroom while Eric used his giftcard.

Happy Birthday to the man who loves me without fail. We love you so much!

Day Before

Today is the day before Thanksgiving. The kids went to Daycare on Monday and Tuesday. I sent them there purposely on Monday to take a day for myself. They went back on Tuesday because they wanted to play with their friends instead of hanging out with me.

Today they are home with me.

I must have gotten a wild and crazy hair, because I decided to make my "once a year" special bread. I used to make it at Christmas and Easter. Over the last few years it has whittled down to just making it at Christmas. So why on Earth am I making my bread for Thanksgiving? I don't know. I just felt like it. I had nothing better to do? Hmphh. Yeah, right.

In any case, the bread making began at approximately 8 a.m. this morning. I just pulled the last loaf out of the oven at 1:30. Not a quick baking project.

The boys helped me. Lord oh Lord did they help.

This is the middle stage of the bread making process that takes FOREVER. I have to roll all the dough into strips to be braided. I easily spent over an hour on this step. The kids were still in pj's playing with a small piece of dough that I gave them and lots of flour (or powder as Hudson calls it).

This is going to taste so good tomorrow morning while we watch the parade! The best part about making this bread is getting to "punch" it after it rises in the oven. The boys had fun beating the heck out of it!

Hudson had a grand old time making an enormous mess. I am torn between cleaning it up or just letting him continue to play and get flour and sugar all over the kitchen floor. On one hand, I need to clean it up. On the other hand, he's been occupied and quiet for over an hour!!! He's very serious about his measuring cup and spoon play!

I can't say that I look much better with flour all over me. I really need to start wearing an apron.

We made seven loaves of bread. Now I just hope that I won't lose my desire to make it at Christmas time. Even if I won't want to, I'll still make it. It's a tradition. And I love traditions.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Friend Makin' Monday: TV

Today is Friend Makin' Monday hosted by Kenz at All The Weigh.

Question: What's on your DVR?

Oh boy! Lots and lots of stuff. I am finally comfortable in admitting that I LOVE watching TV. I watch tons of stuff, and I am perfectly happy saying that a good portion of it is junk tv.

We watch most of our shows on DVR, so I don't really even know what day they come on, but here is a list of some of my favorites at the moment.

Grey's Anatomy
Private Practice
The Middle
Better With You
The Vampire Diaries
Gossip Girl
Hawaii 5-O
NCIS: Los Angeles
Desperate Housewives
Army Wives

Then there are all the reality shows that I watch such as Bachelor/Bachelorette, Kardashians, T.O., etc. Mindless really, but that's okay.

I don't know that I could even narrow my shows down to one a night. Let's see, if I could only watch one show from now on, I think I'd have to pick NCIS: Los Angeles because I just love Chris O'Donnell. And I like crime shows!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Look who's ridin'!

Hudson decided to learn how to ride a two-wheeler with no training wheels today!

And he's off! Look at my 3-year-old go!

He was soooooo proud of himself! And we are very proud of him as well! I thought Evan was a little super star when he learned to ride at the age of 4. I guess having an older brother pushes Hudson to do certain things faster.

Yes, I am totally, unashamedly, completely 100% bragging right now!

The bike he is riding is Evan's old Diego Animal Rescuer bike. It is about three inches too big for Hudson, so he can't start and stop by himself. I was trying to show him how to use the curb for a little bit of height and to help him push off. That will come. Stopping is also a little rough. Mainly he stops and falls over!

Hudson did figure out how to successfully turn in circles so he can ride around the cul de sac without having to stop at the end and turn around. I know that Hudson's little Strider bike that Santa brought him for Christmas is the reason he has enough balance to be able to do this. That little bike was the best thing ever!

Besides learning this skill, both Evan and Hudson had good "well kid" checkups at the doctor. Hudson got a shot and didn't make a peep. As much as my kids make me crazy, they also impress and amaze me!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I teach 7th and 8th grade science. It's fun. It's hard. Yesterday, I did some pretty cool experiments with both classes.

The 7th graders extracted DNA out of strawberries, and the 8th graders made a density rainbow. I am having fun planning new experiments and labs for the kids to do.

This is one of my 7th grade boys looking at the stringy DNA strands. I think the kids really enjoyed the experiment.

Here are two of my 8th graders experimenting with the liquids of different densities.

It worked! The different colored liquids with different densities did not mix!

I always breathe a sigh of relief when the labs go as expected. But hey, even when they don't, it's a great lesson in the reality of science.

One cool thing that has been happening lately is that Evan is very interested in science. For a few months now his answer to the question of 'what do you want to be when you grow up?' has been a scientist! I think I need to start doing some easy at home science experiments to keep that interest piqued.

On a separate note, I am quite happy to have tomorrow off! I am heading to bed now with dreams and visions of sleeping in...if Hudson allows it!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Thankful - Part 2

Earlier I listed my Top Ten things to be thankful for. I'm going to make another list. This one might be a bit more superficial, but important none-the-less!

1. Pepsi - How I love thee. I don't drink coffee. Gotta get that caffeine from somewhere!

2. Wedding ring - Okay, so this one is still sentimental, but I sure love this ring. I usually stare at it when I'm at church.

3. Fake nails - I finally had my nails put back on two weeks ago. They make my hands look much prettier and more feminine.

4. Bubble Bath - I love nothing more than a HOT steamy bath filled with mounds of bubbles. Now if I could just keep the small people from joining me in the tub!

5. Bathrobe - I love wrapping up in my robe. I have it on over my flannels right now. I wear a robe in winter and summer. Along with my robe, I also love my slippers. Always have them on.

6. iPhone - Even though it is Eric's hand me down, I love it. I can call people, check Facebook, text, play games, listen to music and keep track of where I need to be. Amazing little gadget.

7. TV - I admit it. I love tv. I am old enough not to be embarrassed by my need to watch junk show after junk show! At least I know what the 7th and 8th graders are talking about, because we watch the same stuff on tv!

8. Whole house fan - What an amazing contraption that dramatically lowered our PG&E bills this summer.

9. Allergy shots - A weird one, I know, but I am grateful that my shot therapy keeps me from being miserable this time of year.

10. Candy - Another vice. I love sugar. My youngest loves it as much as I do. Candy shops are my idea of heaven on earth.


This is a part of Friend Makin' Monday.

Here are 10 things I am thankful for:

1. My children - As much as I complain about how crazy they are, they have forever changed me for the better. They bring me laughter, joy, and sunshine. I am continually amazed and awed by them both. By the way, Evan is an amazing athlete at 6-years-old, and Hudson can now spell his name. I am so proud!

2. My husband - We've been married for 7 1/2 years, and I can't remember what life was like before him. He is my world. He loves me as I am. He is my best friend. He's the one who knows all my secrets and loves me anyhow!

3. My mom - My other best friend. Mom is the one who is always there. She also knows everything about me. We talk on the phone nearly every day. She is the one who made sure my sister and I had the best childhood. She is a friend to all. My mom is just the nicest person. Plus, she's funny!

4. My sister - We don't see each other all that often, but it doesn't matter. A sister is always there. My sister is realizing what a beautiful person she is on the inside and out. I've always known it.

5. Friends - Whether a friend I see every day (Stacey) or friends I see once a year (Aniesha) or friends I see even less (Ann), I am grateful for them all. They provide me with an ear for listening, great laughs, great memories, and good times.

And now moving away from the list of people, I am also thankful for:

6. Having a job - I am thankful to be able to help provide for my family. I am blessed to work as a teacher in a Catholic school. I am surrounded by people who are kind, compassionate, and faithful. I enjoy what I do. I enjoy the kids. I love working where my oldest and soon little one go to school. My school is like a family. You can't ask for more than that from a job.

7. Technology - Facebook has connected me with long lost friends, my iPhone gives me a sense of security, computers have transformed the work world, the internet gives us instant access, DVRs let me watch all my tv, and my iPod allows me to have instant music. I tell my students all the time that I can't wait to see what is going to happen in the next 30 years.

8. My faith - I became Catholic 10 years ago. Teaching in a Catholic school has helped me become more aware of the traditions, prayers, and celebrations that Catholics observe. I am grateful to my parents for providing me with a solid Lutheran upbringing and then understanding my need to convert to Catholicism. I am grateful to be part of a faith that is universal and so much larger than myself.

9. My health and that of my family - After several health scares and losing my dad last year, health is something that should not be taken for granted. That being said, I need to make my health more of a priority by eating better and exercising more. I always am amazed at what my body is able to do with discipline. I have the ability to run, jump, walk, swim and more when so many people can only wish to do these things.

10. Living in the USA - I am grateful that I live in a place where I have freedom to do anything I choose to do. I can marry whomever I choose, I can have a chosen profession, and I can practice my chosen faith. I am grateful for the comforts of amenities such as grocery stores, medical facilities, and entertainment. I am grateful for a city with an infrastructure such as roads, garbage collection, and sewer systems. I am grateful for education that is available.

November is a great month to think about being grateful. The one thing I am not grateful about at this moment is not being able to sleep, but I am very grateful knowing that once I get sleepy, my big, comfortable, warm bed is waiting for me!

Friday, November 5, 2010


Evan is the owner of a new ring. As in a mood ring for his finger.

The reason I bought him the ring? He put it on his finger at 7-Eleven (yes, Mom-of-the-Year again...quit judging) and could not get it off.

Once Evan realized after much twisting and pulling that he couldn't get it off, he started to do the panicked high-pitched squeal. Me telling him we'd have to cut off his finger probably didn't help. I didn't have time to deal with it, and I didn't want to spit on his finger in the store, so I walked him up to the register, held up his hand, and said, "I need to buy this."

Once we got to school Evan jetted into the bathroom to use soap to get the ring off his finger. It was stuck on "tall man," but it fits very nicely on "ring man." If you know the song "Where is Thumpkin?" then you know what I am talking about.

After school Evan was excited to report that the ring changes colors! I didn't realize when I made a jewelry purchase that morning that it was a mood ring. Evan spent the next 30 minutes trying to "trick" his mood ring into thinking he was sad and mad. That was sooooo fun to listen to.

I'm telling you, the fun never ends in the Forcey house. I tried to take a picture of the ring, and then I forgot. Sorry.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Strong Willed

Hudson is strong willed and independent. Much more so than his brother. Hudson seems to figure, why wait for someone else to do something for me that I can do myself?

Case in point.

Yesterday I poured Hudson a half cup of milk into a sippy as politely requested by him. I set it on the counter. A bit of time went by. Hudson then decided that half a cup of milk was not enough, so he got the milk out of the refrigerator.

I jumped up, told him no, and took the milk jug out of his hand. Hudson got quite angry and threw the sippy cup across the room.

I retrieved the cup from under the kitchen table, unscrewed the cap, poured the milk down the sink, and tossed the cup in the sink. Needless to say, this resulted in high pitched screaming.

By this point I was pretty angry, so I left the room for a few minutes.

When I walked back into the kitchen, I'll be darned if that kid hadn't gotten the sippy cup out of the sink, poured himself a whole new cup of milk, screwed the cap back on, and had it on the counter.

I was torn between wanting to throw the sippy cup myself and wanting to laugh.

Oh my goodness this child is never going to let life be simple. I have to admire his ability to get things done, but I am butting heads with his stubborn nature. I cannot possibly have been this strong-willed as a kid. It must come from Eric.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted

Today was Election Day. I did my duty and voted. And I was blessed with luck this evening as my particular check-in table had no one in line. The other hundred people in line weren't quite as lucky.

The picture is a little dark, but this is just a fraction of the people in line, and that was only one side!

I was stunned when I drove past my polling location at 6ish. Our old polling location shut down along with 300 others due to budget cuts. I figured I'd take Hudson and go eat, and we'd try again in 30 minutes. Evan and Eric were at soccer practice, and Hudson wanted a sandwich, so off to Quizno's we went.

We drove back to our polling location at 7ish, and the lines were just as crazy if not even longer than before. I've NEVER seen an election day where the lines were like this. Not even two years ago for the presidential election did I have to wait to vote.

I put myself in two different lines asking each time if I was in the right spot. I was in the second line for about two minutes when a polling place helper came by. I showed him my voter card, and he gave me the amazing news that there was NO line for polling place 906! Everyone around me started joking about how they could become #906 as well!

This guy wasn't kidding, either! I literally walked in front of a line of dozens of people, scooted in the door and walked right to my empty table. All the people in line were having to wait to sign in at their very busy table. I signed my name, got my ballot, and had to wait a bit for an empty booth.

The whole scene was nuts! I waited five minutes for Eric to get to the polling place so I could show him where to go.

Voting was such hard work that we decided to get ice cream at Foster's after waiting in line for such a long time! **snicker**

Hudson enjoyed the treat!

After ice cream, we drove back by the polling place so Eric could get his car. It was 8:10, and there was still a huge line snaking from the building out to the street.

What an experience!

Monday, November 1, 2010


Evan and I had to run to the store this morning before school. There is already a dramatic difference in the atmosphere with Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations out.

I made the comment that it was almost that time of year to start baking. He looked up at me and said, "But you don't like baking." Grrrr. This kid pays way too much attention to everything I say.

Who knows? Maybe this year I'll pretend to like baking.

Happy All Saints Day!

Giants Win!

Tonight we watched the Giants win the World Series for the first time since 1954. At that time they weren't even in San Francisco.

Now I'll be the first person to admit that I am no baseball fan. The game is just so slow. And the season is just so long...and HOT. I hate hot.

However, I can truthfully say that I have been a Giants fan for over two years now. T-ball Giants that is! I even have gear. I own two Giants T-shirts, one orange shirt, and a visor. I figure this is close enough to being a fan of the real team, so I'm going with it!

Visor sitting on the shelf in my closet.

I've also been to a Giants game in San Francisco. That was one of my most memorable trips with my family. The following photos were from May of 2009.

Evan and Eric before the Giants game that we went to see. Evan was still in his Giants uniform from playing T-Ball earlier that day.

Me at the game.

My little sports fanatic.

I love this city.

Congrats to the SF Giants. I can't wait to go see more games next season!