Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Yard Work

Oh, the joys of yard work... and actually, lucky for me, Wes does consider it a joy. I would even go as far as to say that in the last few weeks, he has actually become minorly (I don't even think that is a word) obsessive with getting our yard presentable.

In honesty, the front yard has come a long way in the past few months. The old owners kept a pristine yard. Well, when we moved in, some of the sprinkler heads broke, and we tried conserving water for finance sake. So, it turned a nice brownish-yellowish color. Not cute!

Well, one of the best things about Wes' old job doing repo work is he learned sprinkler repair. So, he got the front ones up and running, causing our yard to turn more of a greenish color... plus he finally bought a working lawn mower, so we don't have to machete our way to the door anymore.

However, the same cannot be said about the back. The dogs did damage, as did the old pool that used to be back there.

Apparently, dogs cannot resist plastic poles that stick up all around them, and it has taken time to train them not to chew these... hopefully, it has worked, as Wes spent all last week obsessing over the back yard and getting it ready to till and seed.

The past year our backyard has looked something like a little African bush. We like to keep nature as is. Actually, we have a giant pond, cacti, dirt, and weeds... all the makings for ugly. The large pond came when we removed the big, dirty above ground pool from the previous owners, which also came with the task of removing: railroad ties, thousands of those ugly small rocks, and tarps from the area... ie: months of yard work. Now that is gone we are left with a massive dirt area and a slight depression in the ground that fills with water anytime it rains, or the dogs turn on the water out back... yes they learned how to turn the nozzle on. However, sprinklers are up, and Wessy is motivated.

The big challenge, however, comes when you have 2 dogs that are attention hogs. Snoop will toss toys at us all day, seriously, in hopes of playing catch. Honestly, he will try to have us throw his toys for hours. Piper on the other hand just wants to be pet, touched or near us any time she can. And, she gets incredibly jealous if we even talk to Snoop.

For example, this was a small hole our old dog put in our door (leads to the back yard from the master). Piper has learned that if she sticks head and limb through she may get pet. So, if we are in there she will typically peer through in hopes of getting a little love. And, it is hard to resist... we do know we need a new door.

So, this is what doing yard work looks like at our house.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Youth Conference '09

So, as I mentioned before, we were youth conference parents this year. Here are some of the fun photos from the weekend... I did not take very many... whoops- but being a parent is strenuous work, I'll stick to dogs for a while.

Our boys at the service project, plus their "dad" and the other "dad" from our sister family.

From L-R: "Maxwell" Brandon, Jacob, Brandon Martin, Daniel, Mason, Derek, Evan, Wes and Jacob Bock. (You might remember some of these boys from our family last year, not to mention 4 out of the 7 are in our ward).

Courtney is going to kill me for posting these... he he he, but I wanted to show the size of our 3 combined families. This is a picture of Courtney, aka the loser, in the game silent football singing, "Once There was a Snowman" in the middle of the mush-pot. Seriously us adults had too much fun, those poor kids just stared at us as if we were the biggest bunch of nerds they ever did see.
There were about 8-10 other kids in the family, I just couldn't get a photo of them all.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Simply Having

A wonderful birthday time!

Well, the fun of birthdays just never ceases to desist... no complaints mind you.

A few weeks ago, on Saturday the 11th, my mother-in-law (and father in law) got me tickets to see Mama Mia with all of the girls (and the Bladh fam.) So, my M-I-L and sister-in-laws headed out to L.A. to see the show at the Pantageas Theatre, which is one of my favs. Thanks to good ole' L.A. traffic we got there right as the show started, so there was no chatting time.

The show was very good, although where we were I had a hard time hearing some of the words and songs, especially from Sophie, the main girl. However, it was really good, and a LOT of fun being there with the girls. We've never all done something together, and they are all a BLAST to be with!!!

Sandie, me, Rachel, Jaime, and Ashleigh

I hate this photo of me (as I am all you can see), but thought I would post it anyway.

After the show we went over near the Kodak theatre, saw all of the Hollywood FREAKS, and enjoyed dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen.

While I think L.A. on the most part is the worst big city, it is fun to spend a day out there, and I can't wait to do it again... hopefully soon! I realize there are tons of fun things to do in L.A. that tourists from all over come to do, that I never have, and I plan to change this!!!

Then, last Friday, my brother and S-I-L, Sarah, took Wes, me, and Ned out for birthday frozen yogurt, (yes, we let Heidi and the kids tag along). We met at Dan and Sarah's (who live about 15 minutes away) and headed over to University Village to get Pita's and frozen yogurt. It was a beautiful evening, so we sat outside so the little (and big) kids could play, run and romp; and so we could visit together.
The group (I was taking the photo)
Heidi, Ned, Asher, Wes, Dan, Sarah, Ella, Claire, and Carter

Thank you Danny and Sarah for a fun evening.

The "kids" playing.

It's so nice to live near family and friends.

Then, Saturday, Wes and I had planned a birthday bonfire over at Balboa beach. Most of our friends and family couldn't make it, but we were so happy to have those of you who could show up. Again, it was the real, first HOT day of the Spring, or in California, the early Summer. We played in the sand, then later had a small bonfire and smores. I am just going to bypass the hell of parking (including a very loud yelling match between me and the rude parking lady), and the preparation it took to get there, and focus on when we actually had a good time, and I was not in tears... save you the drama of being me.

We buried Ryan and Carter... here is the fruit of our labor.
A sad attempt at a 2-headed sea turtle.

This picture kills me... what the devil is Wes doing. I love it, like he is trying to look all hard core or something, and I just look confused to an extent. This one makes me laugh every time I look at it. Thanks, babe!

I am actually the midget in this picture if you were wondering.

Wes was also ecstatic that a bar right next to where we parked had the UFC fights on for free. So, we went there to watch. It was the first, and probably only time ever, I have ever been carded/I.D. going into a place. As we watched we were bombarded by drunks, one which took a liking to Wes and would not stop talking to him, and talking VERY loudly. We only stayed to watch the main card and 1 or 2 other fights. (Yes, I am a strange girl.... I enjoy watching and talking about the fights).

So, overall what a great birthday time period. And, it just keeps coming.

As I have mentioned before, there are so many Aleman birthdays, that Fred and Sandie take all the birthday kids out for a nice dinner, which we look forward to. And, my mom bought Wes and I tickets to see Big River (one of my very favorite plays of all time) at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont. So, we have so much more to look forward to!!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

And Check

Number 73 and #71 can now be checked off of my list of 99 things about me.

(This was on the 48th floor of the Marriott in Times Square (a rotating restaurant). It was an appetizer/dessert buffet- one which served caviar.

Stood in Times Square and eaten caviar.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Long Time Coming

A few days after Christmas I mentioned (in my Christmas post) how we went to a cabin in Arrowbear for some wintery-fun-family-time (yes, I am aware that it was nearly 4 and a half months ago). However, at this time, I went sledding for the first time (hardest workout oh-um... ever!), was cold, surrounded with snow- which I loved, and drove in the snow- which I didn't love, and had to deal with chains- which was a good and trying thing.

If you want to read all about it look here (recommended)... or here.

However, for the shortened version, here are the photos.

Fun in the cabin.

Preparing to sled.

I know... I have so many layers on, I look like the abominable snow man.

Sledding in the world's best snow!!!

Then Wes attacks!

The aftermath of war!

Good times!!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sooooo Happy!!!!!

That the judges saved Matt!!!!

I really like him, and while I don't think he was at his best last night, all I do have to say is he best not get voted off before Anoop and Lil... are you kidding me!!!

So, while I don't think he will win (though I am ANGRY that Adam Lambert might- if I have to listen to him scream with his tongue hanging out for years to come...arggg). Anywho, just had to say I chanted with the audience to 'save him,' and I am glad the judges listened!!!

I guess I should vote in the future... though that is not likely to happen.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Birthday Weston Bizzle

Today is the hottest man in the world's birthday. My main man turned 26 years old today... what an golden oldie, huh? :)

I made him breakfast, sang to him, we then went to the gym together, and then off to work. And, why does it always seem that national holidays, like my husband's birthday and our anniversary, always turn out to be the worst work days? Oh well, we survived.

We also ate at Panera Bread for lunch, thanks Shaun and Rachel! And, Wes will of course celebrate by playing basketball with his church friends, and by eating his favorite dinner, spaghetti.

Actually, we both plan on celebrating our birthdays Saturday at the beach. If you are still interested please give us a call, because the weather sounds nice and warm! Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

By the way, have I mentioned how much I like this guy?!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mama Mia, Busy Week-end!

A few months ago a member of the bishopric asked if Wes and I would be host parents again for youth conference. Work had been relatively slow and manageable, and we figured doing youth conference would be just fine.

As it happens, the past few weeks of work have been "bumpin"! We have very serious buyers, a listing and maybe 2 going into escrow, new clients we need to work with, etc. So, as youth conference approached we were working late into the night, getting up earlier than usually to start getting things done, plus making all the necessary arrangements to have 7 boys come stay with us for 2 and a half days. On top of it all, we had birthday celebrations to attend to... he he he. :)

So, as it turns out, things were pretty hectic with just about everything before and after the boys got here, but everything still ended up going really well.

We met up with the boys Thursday and watched every ward perform skits (lip syncing) for about 2 hours. The we went to the girl families house to play games. Silent football was the main game.

Friday we had an EFY day, with a bunch of classes to attend, activities, lunch, etc. We went up to camp Emerson and froze our butts off, and decided to come back to the stake center after lunch to finish the day in warmth. Then we had dinner and went to the other girl families house to play silent football again. The losers (including me) had to do a dance and song. My speciality was "I am a little teapot."

Saturday, I was off, but Wes and the rest of the group did a service project at a home for abandoned children, then a family values dinner, and dance.

We had 4 of the 7 boys from our ward in our family, and 2 the same as last year. What was really a saving grace were the 2 families from the ward we were partnered up with, the Daveys and the Bocks.. It made youth conference a lot of fun for Wes and me as well. And, it was so mush easier for me to ditch Wes on Saturday to go see the play Mama Mia with my in-laws in L.A. at the Pantages theater as a birthday gift. Which by the way was a blast!

So, while life has been "busy, busy, busy," it has been a good busy and a lot of fun. I am anticipating a similar week coming up as well.

For the next few posts, I will not have any photos, because our dumb desktop has a virus and my camera card and laptop are not compatible... and I am not happy about this! :(

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hoppy Easter

Just wanted to thank Sandie for making another holiday at the Aleman house so enjoyable. For those of you who don't know, Sandie is a GREAT cook and always makes the best dinners, especially so on holidays.

Besides all the good food, we enjoyed a great adult volleyball game, and Easter egg hunt. Wes and I came out with a little more than $10 bucks. Yeah baby!!!

Jaime also introduced us to a fun card game, Blink. And, basically anytime we spend with family and friends, we have a gay ole' time.

So, while I am a little dense, and didn't take out my camera once... what was I thinking?... I must let the world know what a great time we had today!

Thanks again Sandie and Fred, you two are the best!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

9 full grown adults+1 car= good times

Last weekend my cousin was married in Palos Verdes. It was a beautiful location, with the beach right outside. It was also a semi-formal wedding, though I think my prom dress would have sufficed. :) Because of this, children were asked not to come. Therefore, all the adults (minus Adam, who was working, of course) piled into the Expedition and headed to the wedding. Yes.. 9 full grown adults+1 car= good times.

The food was great, and the reception was pretty wild, but that could have been all the booze being passed around. Open bar... now thats a party! :) You give the Todd family enough caffeine and make-shift Shirley Temples and the result is something like this:

Hayley also went to the center of the dance floor, pushed people aside and danced a solo (with the aid of $1 buck from each of us)... well worth it.

So, while I think we all know how much men love receptions, and driving to them, I must say I think we all came home having had a good time. I love my family.

(I also love my other side of the family and the great time I had with the girls today in LA, but that's for a different blog).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

This Month is Such a Special One It's B-Day Time For Everyone?

Today is a very special day!

24 years ago my mother gave birth to a little Ape... yes, that's right me!!!

And, a few years before that, my mother-in-law was born on the exact same day.

Guess Wes wanted someone just like mom.

Tomorrow, is good ole' Shauny-Wauny's birthday. (Wes' brother, Shaun)

5 days after that is Wessy-Pooh's birfday.

4 days later is Nedley's (Bro-in-law).

The 10 days later is nephew Tyler's birthday.

Yes, and last week, on the 1st, we celebrated Gramma Jean's 88th b-day.

I know I mentioned how many birthdays are in April last year... but really, did you just see how many of us share a birthday this month? Could you not continually mention it? In all actuality, I love my birthday month. Weather is mild and nice, spring is here, Easter, flowers, slight showers. It just feels festive!

And, speaking of festivities... I would like to send out an e-vite to all of our friends. We will be doing a beach bonfire on April 18th at the Balboa Pier... as long as the weather is conducive for both Wes' and my birthdays. We're hoping to be there the majority of the day, so feel free to join us at any time. We will also be providing wood (we make fire... said as a caveman), and smore makings. But, if you want to roast or anything please come prepared. Also, if you want to bring a small treat to share, be my guest... literally and figuratively. :)

The more the merrier, so please come join us!!!

(I do have to mention weekday birthdays become less fun, as you get older. I actually had to work today... blah! However, with the bonfire and other celebratory days coming up, they are still fun. Oh, and I wanted to say thank you to all the Aleman family members for their GREAT gifts to us on Sunday. Can't wait to use them, and see Mama Mia on Saturday with the girls)!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Official New York Post

So everyone keeps asking me, "So how was New York? What did you do?" In which the only response I can give is, "What didn't we do!?"

Honestly, my mom and I were able to do just about everything we wanted. We went with a list of must see items, did all of those, plus some. 7 days was perfect!

Now, I must also admit, that my feet were KILLING me after day 1, and after day 7, I was ready for the 6 hour flight, and a nice-long relaxing Sunday.

However, during our time there I felt as though we never rushed anything. Some days we even found ourselves wondering strange streets and just enjoying the back routes of New York; away from tourists, people, and Times Square. :)

The weather was frigid. Some morning we would leave, or be coming back to the hotel, with temperatures in the 20's. Lucky for us California girls, it was kind of fun, because it was so different from home. It rained 1 day, and was in the low 60's during our Central Park day, so really I have no complaints.

So, for those who really love me, or New York :), here is our itinerary of what we did on our vacation. (It seems like not as much as it was... keep in mind we waited in lots of lines, for Subways, buses, and we did a LOT of walking).

Left for N.Y.--- but, as we were on our way to the airport, we got a call that our flight was 3 hours late. So, Wes, myself and my mom stopped at the La Puente mall and saw the movie Duplicity before continuing on to the airport.
Then we were on our way at 7:3o pm!!!

landed at about 4;
taxi ride to our hotel, got there at 5:00 am
Slept till noon
Walked to Times Square
Went to nearby Park
Lunch at Cranberry Deli (115 45th St.)….took a photo of the Naked Cowboy (he winked at us after I snapped my photo), ate panini sandwiches and shared an orange
Met Jan Crays at Chinatown, Canal Street, bought purses and literally and figurative went to the “underground market” (black market)
Bought I Love New York shirts (6 for $10)
Walked through SoHo, art gallery, Old Navy, Chinese Trader store
Serendipity (put in names)
While we waited: Bloomingdale's, Dylan’s Candy Store
Serendipity – shared clam chowder, tortellini, each had our own frozen hot chocolates--- HIGHLY recommended!

Great Breakfast (our hotel included a complimentary breakfast each morning (normally a $22 bfast) Loved it!
10:00 Church, Union Square 1st Ward, Ward Conference, spoke to President Buckner
Hotel, NAP
Times Square Lunch, pastrami at Roxy’s Deli
Met Museum (old paintings)….bought art out front
Public bus back to mid town
Alter Boyz
Dinner at Ruby Foo's--- Sushi
Junior's Deli for some GOOD cheesecake

BTW Grand Central Station was the Subway exit for our hotel and was about 3 blocks away, and absolutely beautiful! Oh, and notice the shoes in our hands, we each bought a new pair, because the ones we wore the day before tore our feet up... good ole' payless!


Got replacement New York City Card (long story)
3 Hour round the entire island boat tour
Late lunch at Lombardi’s in SoHo (1st Pizza joint in the U.S. and it's oh-so-tasty)
Empire State Building (& bad Top of the City ride-don't do it!) observatory, cold and windy but very neat
Subway ride through Brooklyn to Coney Island
Dinner at Original Nathan’s Hot Dogs, where they have the 4th of July all you can eat contest/ we shared 1 hot dog and didn't even finish it! :)
Coney Island was dark and creepy, we wussed out of going into actual amusement part of Coney Island when we saw black figures in the distance roaming
Walk Across the Brooklyn Bridge*---one of our very favorite events as we saw the N.Y. skyline here at night.


10:30 Federal Reserve Bank Tour
Walked around Wall Street Area
Federal Hall--- site of George Washington’s swearing in (Lincoln exhibit)
Grabbed the Bull by the Horns- or something like that ;)
Saw NYSE (big flag)
Trinity Church and graveyard (Alexander Hamilton's grave)
Chinese food lunch
Ground Zero
Century 21 Dept Store--- bought NY hats
Bodies, the Exhibit
Seaport Village
Hotel for nap (alarm for 6 p.m.)
Lion King
Dinner, Planet Hollywood

Most people like grabbing the bull by the horns, we took a different approach hoping it might help our economic situation.

What ground zero looks like today (photos were taken from the 2nd story of a Burger King). The statue was actually once a globe/world located either between or in one of the World Trade Centers, however, when 9/11 happened it was crushed by debris and now looks like this. It is located in the Financial District, and had a sort of eerie look about it. We commented about how strange it was before we read the plaque in front.


Ferry to Stature of Liberty & Ellis Island
Watched Street performers (very similar to that at Venice Beach)
Madame Trussaud’s Wax Museum
Bus Tour--- Downtown
Dinner at rotating restaurant, 48th floor Marriot in Time Square

Slept later
Chrysler Building lobby (1 block away from our hotel)
Took Uptown Bus Tour--- saw the place of the real "soup nazis"
American Natural History Museum
Ate Awful churros
St. John the Divine Church
Grant’s Tomb
St. Patrick's Cathedral
Met Museum, 2nd time
Rain started
Knoshes at cart (not bad, but not recommended)
Shopped down 5th Avenue (FAO Schwartz, Tiffany, etc.)
Carnegie Deli
Back to hotel

Yes, all made out of Legos.

Didn’t leave room till 10:45
Guggenheim (crazy art)
MOMA (Museum of Modern Art)
Bike Ride through and around Central park (castle, Strawberry Fields, around the reservoir)
Lunch: Chocolate Muffin in Central Park and Planet Hollywood – smoothies
Back to Hotel, got ready for night out
STOMP (old Orpheum theater in East Village, near NYU)
Thai Dinner @ The Basil Leaf (Yummy yummy)
Went to Rockefeller's, wouldn't let us in at 11:45pm, closed at 11
Watched ice-skaters at Rockefeller Center
Walked down 5th Avenue to our hotel

Walked to Rockefeller Center Top of the Rock
Radio City Music Hall (Tour guide, Aimee, Rockette, Amy)
Had chicken felafel's
SoHo, Rice to Riches
Grand Central Station, people watching
Limo ride to JFK (crazy route getting there)
Came home- happy to see my Wessy

Mom even met a real Rockette.

This trip was a real knockout!!!
Needless to say, I can't wait to go back!

And, I realize that the majority of people just looked at my pictures, but please remember I am attempting some sort of photo journal here! :)