Sunday, April 29, 2012

…and He Cooks Too!

Every year in the Los Gatos Ward we have a Men's Cook-off. It is actually an adult Ward dinner, that someone several years ago put a different twist to. The men seem to enjoy competing for the best in several categories, and the women enjoy eating ... and not cooking at all.
John had Friday night to prepare, as our Saturday was full of various other activities, so ... he got cooking some good pasta.
 Pretty good attitude about it, I'd say.
 Mmmmm, chicken, mushrooms, mozzerella, marinara, all kinds of good stuff.
Here is the parmesan topped finished product.
We thought it started at 6:30 so when we arrived and it had started at 6:00, some people were already on to dessert.
It tasted yummy, but only got about half eaten.
Moral? Always pay attention to the announcement regarding time.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Cool Crane at Our House

I know that I promised no more posts about the backyard barring the first of each month, but I am doing one anyway.
This is not a "look what has been done this month," but rather a one day event that was going on last week.
The roof of our new back covered patio is made of steel. The steel weighs more than a ton. Men can not lift a ton. Hence, the crane had to come and help the men.

 I'm helping too. Taking lots of pictures.
Cross beams went over first and then the "bends."
 The welding was interesting too. They just spot welded today, then came back and welded the whole structure the next day. Had to have an inspector on site and everything. Real legit.
 Last on were the 2 x 4''s and they will make up the open lattice section of the roof.
Here is the view from the side of the pool area.
 We had the grandkids over to check it out too. Very fun.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Construction Zone Easter Egg Hunt

The cute grandchildren came to our crazy back yard and had an egg hunt.
GPa and Aunt Stephanie were the "bunny" and hid things quite well considering everything is in a disheveled state.
 Lexy is becoming a proficient finder and still was patient with her siblings letting each of them find the obvious treasures.
 Luke understood exactly what he was supposed to do and loved it.
Their parents are always ready with a camera and help.
Mr Lukamas didn't want to spill anything from his basket. He saw his sisters with their very full baskets and they seemed to be losing some items. He did NOT want that to happen. I have definitely never seen the meticulous side of him, because he is usually just full speed ahead and run over everything, so this was pretty comical.
The girls were excited to get all sorts of goodies.

We're so lucky to have them live close enough to have days like these. It reminds me of the Chipman cousins who us Kelly kids spent many Easters with when I was a little girl. We didn't live close, but our mom's who were sisters, found Easter an easier holiday than most for getting us all together.

Thanks Grandma Joycie and Auntie June!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Yikes - My Baby is 30!

Yes my second child has turned the big 3-0. I think they'll all be there in no time at all, but it still is pretty unbelievable to me that I am old enough for this to be happening. (Help me, I've fallen and I can't get up!)

Our David has been a pleasure in our lives. He hasn't ever given us much trial as a child, grief as a teenager, or angst as an adult. He is just generally a good boy and easy to be around.
Thanks son!
 I thought the "Simpsons" card I found was pretty good, but Stephanie had been holding out on us to give his this great musical Star Wars card.

David was the object of a post a few months ago as he started working for Google, but now as well as a birthday to celebrate, I need to update his job status.
As a Google employee he was really not a Google employee, but instead was a contractor for Google through another company. The long term stability had him a little worried, so when Men's Wearhouse called and asked if he was still available for a corporate job working with the real estate division of the company, he answered in the affirmative.
They hired him and although he was a little reticent to leave Google and the best job he's had to date, he took them up on the offer and he started this week. They give him back all his earned benefits, and let him  back on the insurance plan he originally had along with some other perks. Congrats!
Good luck at Men's Wearhouse V-2.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Recent Progress

Meanwhile, back at the ol' homestead we are slowly getting to our mark of a finished back yard by summertime.  This picture shows the block walls around the poor patio which create planter boxes.

 And this block wall goes around the back of the pool and also leads to another planter. All of these walls required concrete footings to be poured for their stability. Any I'll tell you right now, they are stable. They are not going anywhere soon.
 View from the back of the pool near the side yard fence.
 New steel posts put in for food/arbor between house and pool area. Inspector had to be onsite while these puppy's were being welded.
 Delivered rock for patio. There is a ton (or about 20 tons) of rock and they had to set it on the front driveway because the fork lift couldn't make it up the hill on the side where access to the back yard is usually been good. Too top heavy for the incline.
 Forms for stairs. We have 6 sets of stairs in the project, some smaller than others.
 More pool and electric pipes.
 The concrete has to be formed around all the house vents, whether in the planter or on the patio.

All rebared up.
 Pumping the concrete - FINALLY!
 Working the stairs to the casita. (or whatever you wanta call it)
 Make it flat guys.
 The drains are very interesting. They will be hidden under an ungrouted joint in the stone work.
 The stairway to the grassy area of the yard.
 The planter right outside of the main kitchen and family room area. This used to all be concrete and I think this garden will soften the whole thing up.
Hopefully now that the underground work is completed this project will move along nicely. That is our wish at least.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Spring Has Sprung

It's Spring Break and we had a few visitors over the weekend who were "spring breaking." My oldest nephew and his family came for a short visit and to revisit their old stomping grounds. Ry got his MBA at Stanford a few years back and his 2 oldest children lived here with them. These kids didn't remember so the parents decided it was a good time to show them Northern California.
They of course included the 2 youngest that have since been born.
I of course had David and his family over to see them and the second cousins seemed to enjoy each other.
We enjoyed having them. A very nice little family.
I am also enjoying the spring flowers around the yard. This cherry blossom tree is sure slow growing, but I do love the blooms.
And Dutch Iris's could be my favorite bulb.
 Spanish lavender is a unique flower, don't you agree?
 But Euphorbia Wolfenii is even more so.
 I need to replant the winter flowers. The poppies and cyclamen are pretty spent, but I think I'll leave those snap dragons for a while longer.
I can't wait for Stephanie to come for her spring break next week.