Tag Archive for Party House

Have you Met The Super Six?

This is the Super Six.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

Our Pets and Their Hierarchy

It’s a new day for the animals at The Party House.  If you have animals like we do, and you have both cats and dogs like we do,  you will understand what I am talking about here.  The animals have a pecking order, a hierarchy about them.  They have a certain way of treating each other, or in our case, ignoring each other, and a certain way they interact.  It can be incredibly entertaining.

Let me introduce our cast of characters.  First, and foremost is Tiger, the cat.  The Queen.  She is the queen of the roost, and always, always lets everyone know she is the Boss!  No question about her place in the mix.

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Then we have Clyde, our terrier mix doggie.  Clyde is, how shall I say this, an introvert, a follower.  He does not like his routine disrupted, or messed with.  It makes him very nervous.  His legs get shaky when he’s nervous or in an uncomfortable situation.  When we’re having a Party Day he’s a Nervous Nellie the entire time the crowd is in the house.  He likes lots of love and hugs, or belly scratching.  Clyde is a good guard dog though.  He takes good care of me when I am home by myself, and protects his domain.

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Next is our new arrival.  We adopted our daughter’s cat, Storm.  He’s a raucous and rambling guy, and likes to stir up the routine of the other animal residents in the house.  He’s the teenager in the house.  He’s a big guy, and is like the annoying little brother for Tiger.  He’s also the most mellow cat I have ever known.  Nothing really phases him, unless he’s super hungry.  Storm and Clyde have some kind of bonding thing going on too.  Maybe it’s a guy thing?  They like to pal around the yard together, and go on little hunting expeditions together.

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Photo credit: B.Juedes

The most entertaining part of the day is when the animals get fed their dinner.  If you have animals you know they like a routine.  They like things to happen on a schedule.  At our house, I don’t feed everyone until 5pm.  They start milling around me in the house at about 4pm, just to see if I will give into Tiger’s meowing demands.  Tiger is the spokesperson for the group.  The other two just follow in her footsteps where food is concerned.  I usually stick to my guns and don’t feed the animals a minute before 5pm, because you know they are not the boss of me.  Once they are all fed they go on their merry ways for the evening.  That usually involves little drinks of water, and lots of napping.  Oh the life of a domesticated animal.

The 5pm Standoff!!

The 5pm Standoff!!

Storm also loves to annoy Tiger when she least expects it. He will jump up on a chair while Tiger is laying on the floor, and peer down at her, very intently,  until she hisses and scowls at him.  Once Storm gets a rise out of Tiger, he jumps off of the chair and very nonchalantly walks right past Tiger.  She can’t stand this of course, and hisses at Storm until he leaves the room.

The other entertaining thing about the animals is I have them all trained to know what the phrase, “Go to Bed” means.  I close the animals off in one part of the house at night so they cannot roam all over.  And actually now that it’s warmer Clyde and Storm sleep outside at night.  Tiger stays in and gets mad at me when I tell her it’s time to “go to bed”.  She hisses and scowls at me, and gives me her dirty looks, but she is still not the boss of me.  Travel Man cracked up at this,  the first time he saw me sending Tiger to bed at night.  He could not believe she actually listened, and went out to her little corner in the game room.

Oh what a tangled web we weave.  First it’s keeping the kids from arguing, and terrorizing each other, and now it’s the animals.  We are glad to have Storm as an addition to our little family of pets.  He has brought some new life into the mix of things, and keeps us quite entertained.  Welcome to the family Storm!

This post has been linked to the Grand Social linky at Grandma’s Briefs.

The Game Room’s Been Quiet

It’s a quiet Saturday here at The Party House.  Quiet meaning the twenty-somethings are all out at their various activities.  Travel Man is “on the road”.  It’s fine though I have the stereo blaring with some good tunes, and I’m writing this post.  Earlier today I was in our Game Room (this is where the twenty-somethings normally hang out with their friends) doing some cleaning.  I realized, this room’s been quiet for a few weeks.  It funny since the college kids have finished classes, and are into their summer jobs we haven’t had as much activity in the evenings here as we normally do. 

And then I realized, as I was cleaning, that the Game Room is becoming a dumping ground for “stuff”.  The available floor space in the room seemed to be shrinking at an alarming rate.   You know the kinds of things I’m talking about.  It’s those things that maybe belong in the garage or out in your garden shed.  The things that make an interim stop on some “flat surface” (that one’s for you Hilary), and dont’ quite make it to their destination.  I am the first to admit I’m guilty of parking some things in this room too.  Camp Grandma supplies that did not get put away.  Pool supplies that haven’t made it outside yet. And a Rock Band set that is collecting dust on the ottoman that needs to be put away.  Anyone, anyone?

You know,  if you have a big family and everyone leaves just one thing lying around it can add up to a mess quick style.  We have tall sons with big feet.  So just two pairs of shoes not put away can almost create a traffic jam.  And then there’s our (mine and daughter Hilary’s) running joke with Travel Man about the flat surfaces.  If there’s a flat surface in the house with empty space it gets filled quickly.  And not to pick on Travel Man, because we are all guilty of leaving “stuff” on the flat surfaces in the house. 

After working my Domestic Goddess magic, the Game Room is back in order and ready to go.  Everything is parked back in its’ respective place.  And the “flat surfaces” are cleared and ready for the next round of “stuff”.

Is the “stuff” in your house driving you nuts?

 

A Parent’s Admiration

Over this past weekend, my sister and her husband were visiting from Montana.  The Party House was completely a buzz because Dooney (my sister Laura) and Stevo (Laura’s husband, Steve) were in the house.  Also, my nephew, Jim was here from San Luis Obispo.  Saying the Party House was a little packed was an understatement.  Although, we were without Travel Man, and our youngest son, Zach.  They were both working for a living.

We had great times, great conversation, and great food  from Wednesday at lunchtime until the last meal yesterday at lunchtime.

But there was a moment that not everyone would have seen or heard, that was filled with such love I could not help but share it with you all.  My parents were sitting in our family room, kind of off to the side of the room,  in these two comfy chairs I have there for reading.  The girls (myself, my sister, and Elaine) and I were getting the enchiladas rolled and put together for baking.  And I could hear my parents in the corner talking about all of their kids and grandkids, and now Evan, the great-grandchild all in the same place at the same time.  I just caught bits and pieces of what they were saying, but their conversation was filled with such love and pride, it’s one of those “moments” for me that I will always be able to recall.  It was one of those “moments” that is so filled with love and family that you feel as though “your cup runneth over”.   Sometimes when we are fortunate to get everyone together like this my Mom will say to my Dad, “Yo Rocky (even though his name is Jim), I can’t believe we done dis!”

Saturday night we had a wonderful dinner together, filled with wonderful, loving toasts all around the table.  We are so incredibly fortunate to have such a loving, soulful family.  I am just feeling thankful today.  Blessed and thankful.  My hope will always be that everyone gets to have this kind of family experience, at least once in their lives. 

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