on Wednesday, December 04, 2013
On November 24th Monty and Jeanette celebrated 40 years of marriage! We are so grateful to have these two as pillars of marriage. Their exemplary partnership and love has generated much good in the lives of those around them. Jeanette has always wanted to go to Paris, so while they visited us for Thanksgiving, we all decided to celebrate this important Anniversary and send them to Paris. :)
We sent them their formal invitation. Unfortunately it didn't arrive before they departed to our house. I am not sure my custom envelope (read between the lines… Katie can't cut or fold to save her life) withstood USPS.
On Wednesday afternoon we sent them on a grocery run and transformed the dinning room into a romantic Parisian inspired dinning room.
Anna sent an Eiffel tower ahead of time and decorated the room with flowers and candles.
She had postcards from Paris scattered on the table along with a bouquet of roses at the couple's end of the table.
I couldn't resist Eiffel tower salt and pepper shakers!
Everyone was dressed to the nines to celebrate such a beautiful event!
We had planned out an elaborate 5 course French dinner. I was very nervous as I had never prepared anything but the Ratatouille before. I was able to find 4 French wines to have with each course and a bottle of champagne with dessert.
The first course was:
Fruit and French Cheese Sampler
Comte, Fleurs D’Alsace, Le Chatelain Brie, Grand Camembert
avec Georges Buboeuf Beaujlais Nouveau 2013
The second course:
Meat and French Delicacies
Pinot Grigio Saucisson, Pinot Noir Saucisson, Cabernet Sauvignon Saucisson
Fresh Oysters and Pâté
Caviar & Monet Crackers
avec Pinot Evil Pinot Noir
The third course:
Apple and Red Currant Salad
avec Barton & Guestier Chenin Blanc 2011
The Fourth course:
Grilled Lamb Chops with Port Syrup, Garlic Confit, and sauce Vierge Persillade
avec Le Grand Noir Cabernet-Shiraz 2011
avec Domaine STE Michelle Champenoise
Max was thrilled to have a reason to buy a blow torch.
At the conclusion of each course we had a small gift for each of them to open. The gifts were Paris themed travel related items.
We had a Beret for Monty and a wrap for Jeanette, luggage tags, a map of Paris, a travel bag, document holder, and travel journals.
It was a extravagant 3 hour procession! Just the way Nana and Pops like it. The kids loved getting to drink "wine"(sparkling cider) and celebrate. Karlie put together the evening entertainment of live music. Hailey and Kaitlin played piano pieces while Karlie played the violin. Everyone had a hand in celebrating Monty and Jeanette!
The final gift was First Class tickets to Paris! I found this website to make fake plane tickets and created the tickets. Sam, Anna, and Max all pitched in to give them some incentive to turn their Paris dream into reality!
Bon Voyage!! We love you and can't wait to hear of you travels to France!
P.S. I want a picture of a kiss at the top of the Eiffel tower. :)
on Friday, November 22, 2013
Yet another ugly beast of the desert has reared its head. As if scorpions, rattlesnakes, javelinas and haboobs were not enough, Valley Fever decided to take over Max. Oh no, its nothing like Spring Fever, or Saturday Night Fever, or even Cabin Fever. Valley Fever might sound like a sitcom or something fun but it made Max sicker than I have ever seen him.
Valley Fever is found in the Sonoran dessert region and is a fungal infection that can cause fever, chest pain, coughing, headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, night sweats and a rash. Little spores in the desert soil get stirred into the air and take up residence in your lungs. Most people don't even know they have it, but 40% will have severe symptoms and some of them will develop pneumonia and then ever fewer (5%) develop disseminated disease.
(All the white on the far right side of his lung is the infection from the spores. It should be all black like the left side.)
About 3 weeks ago Max decided to clean up the side yard where there had been a pile of debris. He had commented to me at the time how awful it smelled and how moldy it was. Then a week later he started to come down with flu like symptoms. But so did Karlie. We figured they got the typical winter bug. However, after 2 days Karlie got better and went back to school. I thought Max was just being a wimp. Oops! By Wed he had missed so much work that he needed a Doctor's note. So he went in and tested negative for the Flu. His female doctor also sort of gave him the man up attitude as she said she had the same thing last week but continued to see patients on her feet each day. So he tried to toughen up and go back to work on Thursday. He came home completely exhausted each day between 2 and 3. On Friday as I was driving my parents back from the airport and we were discussing how sick he was and it donned on me that he had the symptoms of Valley Fever. He decided to wait through the weekend and see how he felt.
This is the sweat stain I discovered when changing the sheets. :( I guess a new mattress is in our future.
He felt miserable. He would sweat so much at night that he would have to get up and change his clothes in the middle of the night because they were soaking wet. He would be shivering so much it would wake me up. One night he was so hot he left white hot heat marks on our wooden chair. Finally on Monday he asked one of his pulmonary docs about it and he ordered all the test. When the doctor saw Max's chest X-ray, he told him to go home! He had severe pneumonia and the next day the blood work would show it was Valley Fever. Max has been on the anti fungal medication since Tuesday. He worked a half day Thursday and today is the first day in 2 weeks he has been able to work the whole day!
The fever has burned up any body fat Max had (which was practically none). He is rail thin and looks like a frail and ill patient. Nurse Katie is on the job! I am feeding him as much hardy food as I can pack in him and he is not resisting me! He knows not to mess with me when I go into nurse mode. :) We love him so much and are so grateful that he is starting to bounce back. The good news is he has lifelong immunity and can never get it again! Another major blessing is that Hank was not helping Max. Typically if Max is doing yard work Hank is almost always by his side, yet this one time Hank stayed inside with me. With Hank's asthma I hate to think about what could have happened if he breathed in as many spores as Max did. Hopefully we are done learning about all the awful parts of the desert and can start enjoying the good parts, like 70s in November.
on Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Last Weekend Grammy and Grandpu came to visit us for the weekend. We were so disappointed to not be able to celebrate Grammy's 60th birthday with her in October that we decided we needed to have a belated celebration.
The ladies took Grammy to The Lion King Broadway's musical!
It was a spectacular show. However, I wish we were able to see the matinee. It ran until 10:15 pm and we were all a little sleepy. Poor Kaitlin tried so hard to hang with the big girls, but fell asleep shortly after curtain call and slept through it all.
Saturday was a day of feasting and hanging out watching college football, a few of my Mom's favorite things. :)
My Grandpa came over to help us celebrate. Cheers to Grammy!
We made her favorite Eggs Benedict, with a California twist of tomato and avocado.
Between brunch and dinner everyone just enjoyed each other's company.
Max and Hank cleaned the guns. You know, just normal Saturday afternoon boy stuff.
Then it was time for the real feast! If there is one thing my Mom loves, it is a good steak.
The potatoes were taking a little long so everyone decided to do a little dancing. It is a very RARE sight to see Snork dance! Definitely a special occasion. Like only at weddings when he was forced to dance with his daughters. :)
Finally everything was ready!
A feast fit for a Queen.
You can't have a proper birthday celebration without a cake.
Hailey helped me create this beauty!
We didn't even need to call the fire department.
For an old lady, she has got a pretty good set of lungs on her. LOL
I love you Mom. I hope you know how special you are to each one of us and how we miss celebrating life with you.
on Monday, November 11, 2013
I think I am just now recovering from the Halloween Hangover.
October was so full of festivities and fun that it has taken me a while to normalize. We gave Halloween all we had!
It started with Kaitlin and Max making pumpkin pancakes and snakes for breakfast.
Ghostly Peeps hot coco to prime them for a day full of sugar rushes.
Pumpkin shaped turkey sandwiches.
Karlie helped me make Jack'O Lantern cuties.
Pumpkin muffins and pumpkin seeds from our pumpkins rounded out the little pumpkins lunches.
For dinner it was home made mac-n-cheese with pumpkin shaped pasta, fingers (asparagus) and hauntingly good ham.
For dessert it was eggless Peeps cupcakes. I know....why dessert on Halloween for Peeps sake!? Well, I just can't help myself.
I was literally at the kids' school the entire day for Halloween parties.
It is so fun to be a kid and I am so fortunate to get to be a part of it all.
Kaitlin's science lesson was exploding mementos in coke! Cool. :)
I did the slime rotation for Karlie's class. She loved it!
Then in Hank's class I did the dirt cups rotation. Messy but fun!
After dinner it was time to get dressed. I told the kids this year they could pick a different costume since I can understand not wanting to be the family theme. Plus we were using clothes they already had, so they got $20 at Goodwill and we made a second round of costumes for three of them.
Hailey was a dark angle. She is just too sweet to be scary or evil. :) We found a beautiful, black velvet prom dress for 5 bucks and added sheer sleeves, wings and a halo. Presto!
Kaitlin wanted to be Horton. She is so easy going.
When Hank saw the Ninja costume at Costco, there was no talking him out of it. He continues to dress up in it.
Karlie had cut out an $200 Gothic princess outfit out of Chasing Fireflies that she wanted to be. I said, lets see what you can do with $20. We found a perfect Gothic dress and tiara for $12. We had a black cape. A little make up and her comes Gothic Princess Karlie.
By far and away their favorite part was the make up and fake eye lashes!
After the kids got all dressed, it was time to go to Hailey's best friend's house for the tween Halloween party. The girls took the neighborhood by storm.
We are friends with her parents and decided to Trick or Treat in their neighborhood. Some people went all out!
It was fun to be in a neighborhood where the houses are close enough the kids can run from house to house, unlike ours where we have to drive house to house. Hank had the hardest time remebering the order. At first each time they opened the door, he would walk right in like a guest. Then he would say Thank you and not Trick or Treat. Then Trick or Treat Thanks. I think he did it properly once or twice. He was so excited to run from house to house.
Their buckets were full of candy after about an hour and a half and they were all dusted after a long day of fun and sugar.
We partied till we dropped!