Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving... and remembering Linda Ewoldt...

Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions this past week!!! We had been getting ready for a relaxing few days at Mom and Dad's house for Thanksgiving when we got a call that long time neighbor and friend, Linda Ewoldt, had passed in her sleep. The Ewoldt family lived a few houses away from Mom and Dad during our entire childhood. One of her 4 children, Matt, was one of my best friends growing up and I always had a secret crush on him! :-) We spent countless hours at the Ewoldt house... lots of fun over there! Mrs. Ewoldt (as I called her all my life) had been a labor and delivery nurse at Mission Viejo Regional Hospital, loved to camp, RV, white water raft, hike, sing, but mostly, be with and love her family and grandkids. Her passing was a HUGE surprise and she will be missed by so many that loved her!!! The service was Wednesday and although it was great to see Matt and the whole family for the first time in YEARS, I wish it had been under better circumstances!!!

Thursday... a new day... great food, loving family, and a great time to remember the blessings that we have and that we never know how long we will have them. The following is a pictorial of our turkey day... early Starbucks run (Carmel Frap light), Jeff's traditional early morning ride (I just LOVE Jeff in his bike gear... is that weird?), Jessica and Anna spending a ton of quality time together, Mom's beautiful table, Chris, Nicola and Anna swimming (yes, in Southern California you can still swim on Thanksgiving!), and my darling Dad helping in the kitchen (isn't he soooooooo cute!?)
We have a ton of leftovers that should last us through the weekend as we finish up our Christmas decorations... the tree and the outdoor lighting "challenge..." We believe that we are the "Griswold" family in the neighborhood, but the Mavity Family across the street challenges us for the title every year! Time to pull down all the boxes and start checking "Twenty five thousand imported twinkle lights..." Have a GREAT weekend!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rusty Pickle Chef Retreat - WOOO HOOO!!!!!

FINALLY! I'm caught up with my blog and I can share all the fun I had for 5 days in Utah!!! I flew into Salt Lake City on November 5th... IN THE SNOW!!! I haven't ever flown in the snow and that was very cool! I met up with friend and fellow Chef, Jill Cornelius at the airport. You should have seen the two of us "hot weather girls" enjoying the snow! Lance picked us up and whisked us off to the new Rusty Pickle warehouse for some SHOPPING!!! Can I tell you how AWESOME it is to shop straight from the warehouse shelves!!! AWESOME! Next was hugs and kisses to my teammates and friends from the office and MEETING MISS BECKIE DRYER FROM SCOTLAND... WOOOOO HOOOOO!!! And then the drive up to the cabin... THANK YOU, TRICIA for being such a slow and careful driver up those slippery mountain roads!!! Instead of having a heart attack, I was able to enjoy the beautiful scenery!!!

We arrived at the cabin in the dark... in about a foot of snow. We moved in, had a great dinner and set up for 4 days of scrapping! The Rusty Pickle retreats are so much fun... bonding, laughing, creating, sampling new products and classes... and SO MANY INCREDIBLE GIFTS from Tasha and Lance... it is unbelievable! The first night we were all given gift bags/packages that included... are you sitting down... a QUICKUTZ REVOLUTION!!! YEP, we each received our OWN REVOLUTION, a set of alpha dies and our own personal monograms! We also received a set of Glimmer Mist from Tattered Angels, a set of Gel Pens from Sakura, paper packs from Prism, Coredinations and Melissa Francis, a new pink scrap bag from All My Memories, adhesive runners (3 of them) from Glue Arts, a set of ColorBox Cat's Eyes, and so much more from Rusty Pickle. Several people helped get these goodies donated... THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! And to the manufacturers that donated to our retreat... YOU GUYS ROCK!!!

The next few days were full of snow, scrapping, good food, beautiful scenery and a surprise baby shower for Tasha and baby Anders (Andy) Dixon Anderson... 6 weeks old. One of the games I created was to pass out newborn disposable diapers to everyone, put them in teams, and give them 30 minutes to create something with the diaper. You will NOT BELIEVE what they came up with... 2 BEAUTIFUL hats, a "Juicy Couture" diaper bag and a wall hanging made out of the lining and padding of the diaper and the flowers and ribbon from the shower favors... SOOOOOOO CREATIVE... IN JUST 30 MINUTES!!!

It was a wonderful retreat and, oh yeah, did I share that on the last night, Tasha brought in a surprise for everyone... MASSAGES!!! Most of the gals went straight from their massage into the hot tub out on the snowy deck... HEAVEN!!! But I will admit... my favorite part of this trip was falling into my husband's arms as he handed me flowers at the airport. Some kisses are better than others... after missing my sweet and handsome husband for 5 days, that airport kiss was well worth the wait. I hope you enjoy the slide show as much as I enjoyed making the memories! So Tasha and Lance, when is the next retreat!? :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Catch up... Part 2

More catch up... October 30th - Varsity Football dinner... I cooked my homemade chili for 2 days in order to serve 40 hungry boys, coaches and parents! Chili in bread bowls, cornbread with my special honey butter, salad, baked potato bar, fruit and pie for dessert... what a GREAT dinner! As soon as the boys left, we got out the pumpkins for carving and pumpkin seed cooking! Then onto Halloween... quick Trick or Treating and then onto the Varsity game. The cheerleaders all painted their faces and performed a special "Fright Night" halftime performance that was GREAT! I created the spooky 8 1/2 x 11 layout with the new Rusty Pickle Christmas and Halloween lines and a bit of bling and netting.

Saturday, November 1st, onto a Tally Scrapper "Tally Rally" at Ever After Scrapbooks! It was AWESOME to meet other local Tallies! Then packing and OFF TO UTAH for the annual Rusty Pickle Chef Retreat! (Those pictures are up next!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Catch up... Part 1

BOY, have I been neglectful of my blog in the past few weeks. Yes, I have been busy, but I need to post some pictures and update what we have been doing. In the near future, I plan on turning my blog into a hard covered book... a new book each year... so even though I am late with the Halloween activities, I want to make sure they are included in the blog so they will be included in my book!!!Let's see... since we last chatted, we went to Bates Nut Farm for pumpkin hunting with Chris' girlfriend, Nicola, had the Varsity Football team over for dinner, and had Halloween Night with Trick or Treating and a Varsity game against Oceanside... here is part 1 pictures of all those activities... much more to come from the Rusty Pickle annual Chef retreat...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Off to Utah...

As you can see in the post below, it has been CRAZY around here. I was hoping to get a post up before I left for the RUSTY PICKLE ANNUAL CHEF RETREAT, but that is not going to happen. I will have a TON to post when I get back... lots of projects, peaks at product, and a ton of fun!!! Have a GREAT week!!!