Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas 2008

What a wonderful Holiday I had. Just a perfect Christmas. I am so greatful for my family. How blessed we all are. I have so much appriciation in my heart for the family I have and how each one of you make a difference in my life. Working on the book for Grandma and Grandpa just really made the holiday. I was in touch with so many of you, working on the book, telling stories bonding. The book was a great success but it gave me more then the perfect gift for my Grandparents it gave me an excuse to slow down and spend some quality time with many of you. Thank you all for your contribution in the book.

As I came home and thought back on my holiday I have so many people I want to thank...Mom thank you for all the little touches that you go out of your way to accomplish to make a perfect christmas. I truley appriciate all the effort you put into making it a perfect holiday. Eddie Thank you for all your time and effort on getting those bikes and getting them ready...I really appriciate it and they are loving the bikes. (We leave in the morning for the mountains where they can ride ride ride) Thank you Sue for sacraficing Eds time to help me. Grandma and Grandpa thank you so so so much for driving out to Eds and picking up the bikes and delivering them to my moms to ensure a perfect christmas morning. You guys went above and beyond and I really appriciate you both. John, thank you for being stubborn and stuck on tradition! Thank you for heading over to Grandma and Grandpas early to make breakfast for those of us who made it in time to enjoy it. I love that tradition and am glad that we have kept it up. (next year ahead of time lets take orders so gma doesn't have a ton of left overs). Thank you to everyone who slowed down there busy lives to acknowledge my birthday....some of you a day early...but I was in your thoughts and I appriciate that.

We have alot to be greatful for and a wonderful family as much as I know this now...I am sure I will have an entire new appriciation for you all Monday (I am spending the next several days in a two bedroom modual up in the mountains with Warrens entire family...and it was my idea (i hope i don't kill myself before the weekend is up...lol))

I love you all...here is to an amazing 2009!!!!!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas 2008

This Christmas has been, as usual, a success. I am glad it's over though. Thank you Aunt Lisa for hosting the annual cookie party. I think next year EVERYONE should wear an apron. I think that would be so cute!
I am trying to wind down and put my house back in order. The kids are happily playing with their new toys while I take a few minutes to write on the blog.
Andrew was such a character on Christmas. He is at the age that he is understanding that Christmas = presents. He was soooo excited as he opened each present including the baseball pillow case he got from Grandma Debby. He was so giddy! And I was equally excited to receive a red and black quilt from Grandma Barb. Love IT!!!
With John being gone in Santa Barbara for work I found time to make him a quilt. By the look of the picture he wasn't quite sure if I had done it considering I've been unable to do much with a hurt back. Thank you Naomi for helping, and thank you to all that help me tie it. Your help was very appreciated. John got me a new sewing machine so I will have to go fabric shopping soon so I can start another one. Quilting is something I would like to continue learning. I really enjoy it.
This past Holiday Season I have realized how blessed I am to have a family that loves me.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

"The Book"

It looks like "The Book" was a great success judging from Grandma and Grandpa's comments. I caught Grandpa reading the book and I don't think he even noticed that I took several pictures of him obviously enjoying every word. What a great Christmas....I enjoyed spending the day with my whole family.....I love you guys! (yes, you too Dave). Thank you Jenny for the great idea.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Day--2008

Grandpa and I want to thank all of you for such a wonderful surprise. I read it after you left and it really brought tears to my eyes. I re-read it this morning and the same thing happened and then I saw grandpa tearing up when he was reading it. What a great family we have. Grandpa says that God gave us memories so that we could have summer roses in the winters of our lives. Wow! We will read that little book many times and remember all the wonderful times that we have spent together and just think there will probably be plenty more years at Black Meadow. I'm going to try to find "Ride Like an Indian" so the little kids can hear it too. Thanks for all the help yesterday. Brad and Dave peeled all the potatoes. Thank you! Thanks to everyone who helped make Christmas dinner perfect...We felt so much love in our home yesterday. You are all the greatest.....We Love you so much....Grandma and Grandpa

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

HO HO HO Christmas Assignments

OK, Chrsitmas is a week from tomorrow.....are you ready? Here are your assignments for dinner, just a few changes from Thanksgiving.

Grandma Barb - turkey, potatoes, yams, cranberries
Debby - Pretzel jello (2 bowls), butter, peas
Lisa - pumpkin pies, cool whip
Sue - apple pie
Kris - jello (1 recipe put in 2 bowls)
Jennifer - dessert for Warren, 3 dozen brown and serve rolls
Katie - vegetable plate
Naomi - green bean casserole
Sherri - 5 cans pitted black olives, 3 dozen brown and serve rolls

Come for breakfast whenever you're ready. I's sure you big boys are ready to help grandpa again. Egg McMuffins are the popular choice and we DON'T MESS WITH TRADITION!
See you there. If you have anything to munch on during the day bring that too....

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Good News/Bad News

First the good news...Danny is moving back home on the 19th.  He has decided to come home to save money and concentrate on getting on the Fire Dept.  He'll be taking Fire Science classes at the local college here.  We're excited to have him back home.  

Now for the bad news...well it's really not that bad but Ed got hurt again at our race on Tuesday.  Nothing serious, just tweaked his knee.  The opposite knee that he had surgery on a few years ago.  But he's off work for at least a week.  We'll see how it feels after a week.   I already asked him the question you're all thinking and he said "Never". haha  

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Turkey Day Family Fun

Here is another video from Thanksgiving. Sorry the quality is so bad, I took it with my blackberry.  Next year I'll bring a real video camera! 

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Turkey Trot 5k Run

On Thanksgiving morning while all of you were sleeping in your warm beds and listening to the rain outside, Jessie and I drove down to Dana Point to run in the 31st annual 5k run also known as the Turkey Trot. We ran with some friends of mine from work. It was pouring rain while we stretched in a covered parking garage and lucky for us, stopped raining by the time the race started. Jessie took off and I never saw her again except for when the route doubled backed. She did well and averaged an 8 minute mile. She placed 23rd out of 112 women in her age group(16-19) and 78th overall out of 1251 women. WOW!!!. I did ok averaging about a 8:45 mile. I placed 39th out of 147 men in my age group (35-39) and 436th out of 1152 total men. We had a lot of fun and are looking forward to the next race. Any of you want to join us??? A 5k is only 3.2 miles. Piece of cake, right? See you all later.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

I love the discount store!

John and I are not TOTAL loosers! We won $250.00 store credit from the raffel at the discount store! Wohooo!


Well Thanksgiving is over. What a wonderful day we had with everyone there but Nicki. We sure missed you Nicki and can't wait to see you for Christmas! Names have been drawn and a few have opted out. There is a $20.00 limit. Maybe you could post our lists ias a comment and then everyone can have access to them. Let me know what you think.

Ed will give to Mike
Sue - Jackie
Danny - John
Nate - Ed
Lara - Naomi
Lisa - Mason
Rick - Debby
Katie - Jenny
Dave - Don
Jackie - Tommie
DJ - Andrew
Hailey - Harlie
Don - Katie
Debby - Lara
Jenny - Jessie
Warren - Dave
Billy - Nate
Mason - Tyler
John - Warren
Sherri - Lisa
Tyler - Danny
Sierra - Hailey
Andrew - Cole
Mike - Rick
Naomi - Sherri
Jessie - Sue
Tommie - Billy
Harlie - Sierra
Cole - DJ

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving Soccer Tournament

As you know we headed out from grandma Barbs in our RV for a soccer tournament in Temecula for Harlie and Tommie. Harlie's team had some close games and lost two games in the last seconds. Tommie's team on the other hand did much better. They won their first game 1-0. The second game they lost 4-1 to a gold team advancing to a Premier team next year. They played again this morning and won 3-0. Because of the win this morning it gave them enough points to advance to the Championship game. They played the same team they lost to the day before. It was a very intense/physical game. After two 40 min halfs the score was tied 0-0. They went into two 10 min sudden death overtimes in which both teams had many shots on goal with great saves by the keeper. The score was still 0-0, so it went to penalty kicks. Our keeper blocked 2 shots giving us the win. Although Tommie did not play in the championship game, she had many great saves this weekend that helped the team get to the championship game. We are so proud of her!!!! WAY TO GO TOMMIE!!!! WE LOVE YOU!!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

Naomi and Mikes New additions

We'll we were supposed to get on here and post this awhile back, but it never happened. Naomi and I were checkin' out the dog scene 'cause we were wanting to get a dog. Well we were parusing the local pet stores for a couple of weeks. For a mixed breed small dog that didn't shed. Well we found a dog in Orange that we liked. So we were put in a room with 3 dogs from the same litter, to see how they were and pick one out. Well right away we had them take away one dog because it was just INSANE!! It was so hyper and it just didn't stop! So we had these other two dogs one was a super calm male, and the other was this really cute female. We Decided on the Female because she was more active, but not nearly as crazy as the first dog we had them take away.

Well to make a long story short, we left the store with both of the dogs, because Naomi just couldn't seperate them, and the sales lady sold Naomi on them being better together when nobody was home.
We've had the dogs now for a couple of weeks and the girl is just how she was in the store, but the boy is INSANE!! It turns out he was sick when he got him and now he was gotten over his kenal cough and is runs around all day long tackling his sister and biting me in the nose. He has turned out just like the brother that we definatetly didn't want in the pet store. We love them both though.
The dogs are named Gizmo, and Xena, they are Morkies (and Maltese and Yorkie mix). I'm going to try to add some pictures but my internet is insanely stupid lately and I might not b e able to get them on here. This Blog Thingy is kinda cool. It's nice to see how everyone is doing.

Hey all!! I finally figured out how to work this site...it's a bit confusing:) Can't wait to see everybody on Thanksgiving. Here are some picture's of the ring!! Thank you for making me feel so welcome in your family....

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Thanksgiving Assignments

Here are the assignments for Thanksgiving....

We will eat at 3:00. Grandma needs us there early to help set up tables, peel potatoes, etc.
If you can come about 1:00 or so to help that is great. If you have other family plans that's no problem. See you there!

Grandma Barb - turkey, potatoes, yams, cranberries
Debby - turkey, butter, 2 dozen rolls
Lisa - pumpkin pies, cool whip
Sue - apple pie
Kris - jello
Jennifer - dessert for Warren, 2 dozen brown and serve rolls
Katie - vegetable plate
Naomi - green bean casserole
Sherri - 2 cans pitted black olives, 4 dozen brown and serve rolls

Bring your own drinks and be ready with Christmas Lists

Thursday, November 20, 2008

I love this!

I have nothing really exciting to post but I think this blog idea was great! Thanks for getting this started Mom (Debby). John and I just celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary last month and we went to Catalina for the weekend. With NO kids. It was a much needed break. I have never been there so I was really excited. Mabye next year we can go somewhere and take an airplane!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Just a quick note!  One of the professors from my school has been appointed to Obama's Justice and Civil Rights Review Team.  

Professor Reynoso (who I adore!) was the first Latino on the California Supreme Court, and is from Brea!  He's a very kind, thoughtful man, who promotes (above all else) legal services for the poor and under-represented.  I'm so thankful for the opportunity to be in such close proximity to him and people who are working for social justice. 

Here's a link to a UC Davis Law page about his appointment.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fire Evacuation Drill

Well the last weekend was crazy. When the fire jumped the 57 freeway we thought for sure it would end up in the hills right behind us. I panicked and started to pack things. Initially I thought...Wow what do I take??? I felt overwhelmed at first. Kris and the girls were gone and it was just Cole and I. I called Don and Debby and they came over to help. Cole was scared at first but once I got him busy with stuff he was quite the trooper and did whatever I asked him to.

Once we got started it was simple. Cole and I gathered everything ever made by Grandma Barb(dolls and quilts because these things are irreplaceable). Next we grabbed Kristin's quilts, laptop, cameras, I-pod and anything else electronic that she has. All the photo albums, boxes of photos and medications. Don took care of the computers by grabbing all of the towers, Debby grabbed a little something from each of the kids rooms (clothes and stuff) and some pictures we had around the house. I grabbed a few important documents that were already in a fire safe box and some clothes and that was it. We stacked everything in the entry way of the house so if we had to pack and leave we could do it within minutes. Overall we had a small collection of our life and it was amazing what really mattered to us and what we were willing to leave behind.

Once Kris got home with the girls we had them go back through their rooms to add anything we might have forgotten. Jessie didn't add much, we had already grabbed what was important to her (Scriptures, family history stuff, I-pod, photo album and some school stuff). Harlie was upset that we didn't take her "Joe Jonas" pictures off the wall and I don't remember what Tommie added. Probably a giraff or two.

After it was all done we sat around and watched the news for updates. When we got tired of that we went outside and looked for the fire to come over the hill. I spoke with some neighbors I hadn't talked too in months and it was almost like a big party as we watched the fire from the front of our homes.

As I look back over the last couple of days I am thankful for two things. This family and the Church. I recieved calls from my home teachers as well as others to see if we needed help. I saw several of the kids turn to prayer when they were scared. How awesome is that. The fact that they know Heavenly Father listens to us. Don, Debby, Jenny and Warren... Thanks for helping us over the weekend. Just being there helped to put us at ease. Kris, Jessie, Tommie, Harlie and Cole....thanks for being strong and helpful even though I know you were scared.

The lesson learned...make a quick inventory in your homes of what is important to you and discuss it with each other. Like what happened to us, most likely not everyone will be home at the time of a disaster or evacuation. One of my neighbors made a video of everything inside his home to document everything for the insurance company. Not a bad idea (at least take photos of each room).

See you all later,

okay, so Brea ison fire. Literally. And the Valentine Family does NOT have school! YIPPEE!!! However, we will be paying for it during summer vacation, I'm sure. We have some intense pictures that have been sent around in emails and some pictures that my friend Alexis took from her house.
I can't believe it. I mean seriously I just drove up Wildcat Way Friday morning to go to school and drove back down when I went home. That's my school. This is my home. This is seriously scary. The hills in Brea haven't burned in FOREVER. It's really scary to even think that our house is so close to the flames. My good friend Emily, and a lot of other people were evacuated in the Fanning Elementary School District and in the Olinda Ranch Area. Brea Canyon High SChool has burnt down. The soccer fields at brea olinda have burned also.
We always see fires on TV and we NEVER expect our own homes to be in such grave danger. When we watched San Diego burn, we watched and said... oh... wow... cali is burning. But now that it's Brea and Yorba Linda, well... I guess it's just frightening. Really. The places you see burning are you high school and the hills behind your house. And your friends are all being evacuated and you're packing because you're the next neighborhood to be evacuated. And in the middle of all the chaos, you stop and think. wow. this is really happening.
My favorite part though, was sitting on the roof with my dad, Billy, Mason, and Tommie. Awesome. It was wierd watching the hills burn, but it was so cool to sit up there together and just... well... absorb it. Long day and long weekend, but all is well.
Scary Stuff Ladies and Gents. Scary Stuff.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Just had to share...

Thanks Debby! Now I can post on here! Yay. I love this idea.  So I just had to share this with all of you.  Brandi is in heat for the first time.  I am SO getting her fixed after this!  I went to PetSmart today and found these little doggie diapers.  They work great but I think she's humiliated:

Can't wait to see everyone next week! 

Sunday, November 16, 2008

So I am driving home from Phoenix, I am by myself cruising West bound in our motorhome on I-8 in El Cajon about 11pm. Traffic starts to slow and I see brake lights going left and right, swerving all over the place. I started to hit the brakes to avoid whatever was going on ahead of me. I am on the brakes pretty hard when all of the sudden the truck in font of me goes hard left and my headlights shine on this shirtless Hispanic guy chasing cars and hitting them on the hood with his fists. At his point I am going pretty slow, maybe 10 mph. He turns and looks at me and stands in my lane like a singular logo. You know, with both legs spread and both arms stretched in a "V". I had cars on both sides of me and had only two options.......Option (1) Run him over. Option (2) Stop. I decided to stop. Now this guy starts pounding on my wind shield as he is moving to his left (my right) towards the "Door" side of the motorhome. As soon as he was on the side of the motorhome I hit the gas to get a way from him. I took a look out the right side mirror to see what he was doing as I was driving away only to see him hanging on my mirror with his legs propped up on the side of the motorhome. Now what?.........My first thought was to do a Dirty Hairy type move and pull to the right and scrape him off on a road sign or something. I was doing about 20 mph at this time and accelerating. What if this guy falls off at speed and dies? Am I liable? Crap!......So I slow down and he puts his feet on the ground and walks but is still holding on to my mirror. I speed up and he puts his feet up.......I slow and he walks. This goes on for a few hundred feet as I am making my way to the right shoulder. At his point I am on the cell to 9-1-1 but unable to get through.....Busy signal...Three times I get a busy signal. So I stop and he finally lets go of the mirror. I hit the gas as hard as I can but being so heavy it takes a little time to get the motorhome up to speed. I look in the mirror again and now see said Hispanic guy hanging on my door handle with his feet on the fold in step. At this point I hear him trying to get in the door. I continue to drive doing about 10 mph for a while in the right lane. Still unable to get through to 9-1-1..........I am driving down the freeway with a Mexican guy hanging on my motorhome, trying to bust into my door. That's normal right? It happens............ I am so glad that I have a habit of locking that door. I did the stop and go thing for a while and finally this guy was unable to grab back on to the door handle. As I looked in the right side mirror I saw him pounding on the hood of another car. I am really glad that I locked my door. .......UE

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

apple doesn't fall far from the tree...

jack is sooooo nicki. they both have so much fun at school. i call jackie nicki all the time. jackie is learning spanish, chinese, red ribbon week, and the new president... rock bama. oh i forgot. they also pray to jesus everyday.

she comes home singing songs about the days of the week (in english) and then starts singing it in spanish ( well.... her version of spanish) when you tell her that its close but not quite spanish yet, she says.... oh mom, i was just teasing you. its really china. thats what they speak in chinese.

a couple weeks ago was red ribbon week. how do you explain to a 5yr old what drugs are?!?! so she starts coming home with all this d.a.r.e. stuff. the next couple days, everytime i gave her food or drinks she would get this dear in the headlights look and put her hands up in front of her and gasp! mom i can't eat that there's drugs in there!!!

oh, now for the big one. jesus. she says her favorite part of kindergarten is when they pray to jesus everymorning. i tried to tell her that you don't pray to hevenly father at school. and once again she tells me.. uh, mom, i'm in kindergarten. i know things. we pray to jesus every morning. (so i take a deep breathe) jackie... tell me what you say to jesus everyday. she stands up and gets this beautiful smile on her face, puts her hand over her heart and says. i pledge allegience, to the flag.... hahaha (one nation, under god)

our new president. dave and i were talking about voting and the different props. she wanted to know what a president was. so i told her that its like a king and queen, but we call them the president and the first lady. well a few days later she comes home all excited. we have a new president! his name is bamba rock! i say no hunny its barak obama. ( i very slowly and carefully pronounced it) uh mom i go to kindergarten. his name is rock mama, i mean rock bama. so we go back and forth for a few minutes playing a really bad game of telephone, before i give up and walk away.

Halloween at the Rex's

The grandkids all showed up to trick or treat. Thought you might like to see their pictures. Jessie and Tommie went with friends.

Law School Isn't As Fun As it Looks

Hi family!

I love this blog!  What a great way for us to all keep updated on each other's busy lives!  

Law school is busy and rough.  All of the students keep getting more and more haggard looking as the semester continues.  We don't sleep very much, eat whatever we can get our hands on, and get a little more behind every passing day.  But, that said, I'm having a wonderful time.  My roommates are great girls, and my classmates are a bunch of the nicest, most diverse, funny people I have ever met.  And, they do a fabulous job of documenting every non-law-school event we have, so I have tons of pictures which make it look like school is a little more fun than it actually is.  

We play softball every Friday, and my team is the Bad News Barristers.  There are about 10 teams in the league, we don't really keep score, and we're absolutely terrible -- but it doesn't matter.  Softball is the highlight of my week.  In the spring there is a law school bowling league, where we bowl at the ally on campus!

We had a small Halloween party at a classmate's house, and I attempted to be Ms. Hannigan from Annie.  My costume ended up looking a lot more like Courtney Love, but it was fun to dance and play with classmates and not think about school at all.  Except...my friend, David, was a nerd, and brought his Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the hardest, driest, most boring class any law student has to take.)  Here is a picture of the two of us with our favorite set of rules. 

I've also had the opportunity to go to a number of events and meet California justices, including Supreme Court judges!  I a member of the Feminist Board, and am part of a legal public interest fundraising team.  One of my responsibilities on the Feminist Forum is setting up events where law students can meet women lawyers (still surprisingly rare) in Northern California to network and secure jobs for the summer and after graduation. 

Here are a bunch a classmates and a professor at the Capital building last month.  We met Davis Law Alumni and California legislators, and ate all the free food we could get our hands on!

OK, this posting is long enough!  I just wanted to let you all know how I'm doing, and tell you that I LOVE YOU!  Unfortunately I won't be able to come home for Thanksgiving.  I have finals starting the next week and need to study, study, study.

The last final is on December 23rd, and I can't wait to see you all for Christmas!  

 Thanks for starting this blog, Aunt Debby!  I can't wait to see (that means pictures!) how you're all doing.  Congratulations to Mike and Nate and Lara!  

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Mike Received His Notice for LA County FD

Mike received his notice for FAMILY DAY for the fire department......FINALLY! We are all so happy. Now he just needs to get in shape since he's spent the past many weeks in a foot boot for a badly sprained ankle.

Mike and Naomi will have to post pictures of their newest purchase......

Nate and Lara are Engaged!

Big News......if you haven't heard, Nate popped the big question to Lara last Sunday and she said YES! Exciting news. I hear the ring is beautiful. Hopefully Nate will see this and post a picture and maybe tell his other BIG story!
Ok family - I'm trying something new! I know most of you blog, but I haven't done much of it yet. It looks like a good way for all of us to keep in touch. I know you can post pictures, etc. and we can exchange family information, news, Survivor lists etc. and keep it all in one place! Let me know what you think.

Love you all.