Tag Archive for family happenings

Have you Met The Super Six?

This is the Super Six.


They have been together for a lifetime.  Let me introduce you to my four kids, and their cousins ( my brother’s son and daughter).  Starting from the left,  Naomi is the oldest, and I’m pretty sure at this point in her life she’ll remain the shortest of the bunch.  Next is Jim, my brother’s son, he’s the tallest one in the crowd these days,  and then Hilary, Mary (my brother’s daughter), Bryan and Zachary.

The layout style of this picture became a tradition with this bunch many, many moons ago. We would shoot this group shot from oldest to youngest, and then from tallest to shortest.  My grandma (great-grandma to the Super Six) lives out-of-state, and would always ask to see a picture of the kids together.  She wanted  to see how tall each of them were in relation to one another.  So that started the tradition of the Super Six photos. And I’m fairly certain my Grandma coined the phrase “Super Six” for this gang.

Over the years we have taken quite a few Super Six pictures. I just love, love, love a walk down memory lane like this.  When Tom’s son, Ryan, was living with us the group expanded to the Super Seven.


Super Six_Montana 001Scan


As you can see in the pictures below, when Evan got old enough he honed in on the photo line, and made sure he got himself included.  These pictures should be called “The Super Six” plus one, since Evan is the next generation!


This bunch has been fortunate enough to live near each other growing up, pretty much until everyone started working full-time or took off for college.  There were lots of Friday night sleepovers, chances to do fun things together, family beach parties, cheering each other on at school events, or at a sports game.  Just all round having cousin fun as often as they could.  I think my brother and I subconsciously made a point to get the kids together as often as  we could.

Now that they are all a little older it’s not easy to get this picture, but we are still doing it. These shots were taken at Zach’s wedding this past August.   I may be partial, but I can feel a lot of love and happiness coming from these pictures.



This group of amazing young adults have been through a lot of life stuff together. Graduations, milestone birthdays, 4th of July celebrations, Halloween’s,  family reunions, weddings, divorces, cancer in the family, and the loss of their Grandpa.  They have experienced all of the ups and downs of life.  They are positively surviving the roller-coaster ride together, and have come through it all with smiles on their faces.

My one hope for this great group is that they stay in touch and support one another for eternity.  (That’s my Mom voice shining through.)  My quest with this bunch is to continue capturing the Super Six line up for many years to come.

This post linked to the GRAND Social

Isn’t it About Time I Wished You All a Happy New Year?

Happy New Year, dear friends.  2014 is already in full swing, and I am just now getting back to my writing.  I’m hoping you all had a wonderful holiday season filled with family and love.  January got off to a bit of a wonky start because of…The Flu.  Ugh.  I’m actually the one who got sick first, on New Year’s Eve of all days.  I was battling the flu beast for a good week or so.  Luckily for me Travel Man was home to take care of me. January 3rd was probably one of the hardest goodbyes that Travel Man and I have had in a long, long time.  He did not want to go, and I didn’t want him to go either.  But, boo-hooing aside I got over the flu, and then almost everyone else in my family had a visit from the flu beast in the past two weeks. That brings us to the point we are at now.  It’s the last week of January, and nearly Superbowl Sunday.

My how time flies.   And this time is was not necessarily while we were having fun.  You would think here in sunny, Southern California we could avoid the dreaded winter cold and flu.  But the reality is we don’t.  The flu that just rocketed through the family (I have coined it the “lightning flu”) is probably the worst we’ve had in over five years.

As of this writing everyone who has gotten the flu, is over it.  Hopefully I haven’t jinxed those of you in the family who haven’t had “it” yet!  The past few days the weather’s been great, doors and windows have been opened, and all the germs have been ordered to leave the building!!

We had such a great holiday season with all of the kids and grandkids here at the Party House.  It’s always so enjoyable when we can get  everyone gathered together  for a little while to celebrate.

family xmas 2013

Christmas Day 2013
Photo courtesy of J.Weise.

Look at all of those smiles, what a great looking bunch.  Hopefully your 2014 has gotten off to an amazing start.  We’re looking forward to lots of birthday celebrations together, an engagement, some mini vacations, and baseball.

A New Birthday Tradition

This year I wanted to have a way to put up remembrances of the birthday parties we host here at the Party House.  I am working on getting all of the birthday cakes, with the guests of honor printed out so I can make a cool board to pin them up on in our family room.  It will be a great conversation piece for the next party here.

Since this is the beginning of June I thought it would be fun to share the birthday pictures with everyone from this year so far.

In January, we have my younger brother, Jim.  He’s almost 50!  Can’t wait until next January so we can surprise him with something!


Also in January is my niece, Mary and my Mom on February 3rd.  They usually celebrate with a combo party.  This cake was a lovely Butter Pecan cake, extremely yummy.

In March it’s our youngest daughter, Hilary’s, birthday.  She just turned 25, man I’m getting old!


This was the no-bake lemon cheesecake. This recipe was posted a few weeks ago.  Yum, yum.

In April, I celebrated my birthday along with my son-in-law Brad.  I’m not going to post our ages.  You can see the candles loud and clear.

We had the good fortune to attend an Angels game on our Birthday weekend.  So of course we had to have this cake!  It has a yummy whip cream frosting, so much better than buttercream anytime.

In May, we celebrated my Dad’s birthday with some no-bake cheesecake and berries.  Quite a light summer dessert treat.

Evan gave his great-grandpa the sweetest, most heartfelt hug right before we sang.  We all went, “Awwwwwwwwwww”.

I love this picture of my Dad singing to himself.  We had a great day, lots of fun family times.

We are surrounded by an amazing family group.  There’s just so much love, caring, and compassion.  It’s the most comforting feeling to know that you can count on your family for anything.  A rousing Happy Birthday to all of the family who have celebrated so far this year.  As soon as my board is complete I will post an update on how it turns out.

Are there any new traditions started in your family this year?

p.s. photo credits in this post go to Elaine, Erica, and my Mom.  Thanks ladies for making sure we don’t miss out on any great memories.






Thank you’s to all of you


As I was looking at the stats for my blog this morning, yes I’m analytical like that, I discoverd I broke the 3,000 views marker.  I have been blogging and telling the world my stories since last August.  In that process I have discovered that I like to write, and tell my life stories.  It’s fun to share the life happenings around the Party House from the past and present.  My Mom keeps telling me, “Who knew you could write, and enjoy it?”

I found this quote from Hemingway that rather sums up my writing experience to date;

“It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.”

So thank you to everyone who has been following my writings, and stories.  My plan is continue on my writing journey and expand it to share the stories of our family and our everyday experiences.  Wishing each and everyone of you a wonderful week.  May all your dreams come true.

Finishing out the Holidays with our Family Calendar

There is nothing finer than being able to record the pictorial history of your family and friends.  Around 1997, my Mom had the idea to put together a family calendar using pictures from any and all family events during the year.  The actual calendar pages also showed everyone’s birthdays and anniversaries for the year.  It’s really amazing.  I actually had to consult with my Mom to get some history on how my parents have put the calendars over the years.  Thanks Mom!

The first generations of calendars  had just one picture per page, something like this:

These are the actual calendar pages from 1997.  I’m pretty sure one of my girls put the colorful stickers on the page on the left.  Maybe Hilary?

Then in 1999, we graduated to a few pictures on a page and the kids in the family were so funny.  The first thing they would do when they got to see the calendar, which for the  most part has been on Christmas Day, is count how many pictures they were in.  Then they would have some sort of meeting and compare notes to see who made the most appearances! 

According to my Mom for the first 3-4 years of the calendar process she put it together “manual” style.  Good old cutting out the actual pictures, creating a collage, and then off to the printers. For the calendar portion with dates, birthday’s and anniversary’s she uses Microsoft Publisher.

Then in 2000 or 200, she went digital and used Photoshop for the pictures.  At that time my parents were printing the entire calendar, with all of the copies for the family on their own.  That ink must have cost a pretty penny.  My Mom would create the picture portion of the calendar, and then Dad (the engineer) was responsible for the printing, getting everything double-sided in order,etc., and getting them done on time.

In 2006 or 2007, my Mom started using Picasa collages which makes the process so much easier, and allows for tons of creativity.  At this time, my parents were still doing the entire calendar on their own.  My Dad would announce around Thanksgiving time that they were collecting pictures from everyone, and give us a due date.  Yikes a deadline from Dad – don’t be late.

Then in 2008, my Mom decided to get help from all of us, because the Picasa collages are so easy to put together.  So, now my Mom puts out an announcement on our family page on Facebook, so everyone who wants to can take a month and create a collage from the pictures they have on hand.  And then she also selects someone to design the cover for the calendar.  A prestigious appointment.

Here’s a sample of one of the collage pages from this year’s calendar:

To view the entire calendar from this year just click on this link-  2012 Family Calendar.

The calendars are great conversation pieces when you are visiting with long distance relatives, and want to show off your family.  Over the past few years the photos that we are able to jam pack into each calendar page are tremendous.  For myself, I have all of the calendars from the past years put together in binders.  It’s such a treat to sit down and go through almost 15 years worth of calendars now, and reminisce.

Hats off to my Mom and Dad for keeping this tradition going over the years.  It’s a tremendous effort, and we all appreciate having the pictorial memories that will last a lifetime.

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