A Day With The Family

We woke to such a pretty day and the kids seemed to be thrilled in our little piece of paradise.

Oh the beautiful places we went…

and sisterly fun around each corner…

With meaningful time spent with friends.  We love this sweet Italian couple so much.

Ryan had a great time keeping up with his sisters…

Lauren made a new friend.

They have such zest for life.  Rosa just tried on her new Christmas gift – the really cute vest.


Lauren at dinner…

Ryan wasting a perfectly good onion ring…Oh the laughter and nice visit we had around the dinner table.

Our evening wasn’t complete without a family night of Texas Holdem Poker.

I like the way we roll as we don’t have to search hard for fun times together.

Christmas with the family to be continued…

Blessings – Debbie

Lets Get The Party Started

As we woke to the first bit of sunlight we’ve seen in days, we knew a great day was sure to unfold.

A view as the sun burned off the fog.

Yes, what a bright beautiful day.  Kristy was the first to arrive, what a joy to greet her at the airport.

Here come Ryan and Lauren from their flight!  Yay, they all made it!

There was a shopping trip to Trader Joe’s.  This yard long Classic Cookie Collection was spotted.  We left it on the shelf.

We’ve already conquered a nice dinner out, two different grocery stores and a trip to the mall.  Back home, shooting pool was a hit for Ryan and his dad.

We also started in on a list of fun things to do over the next few days.

May the memories we make be filled with love and joy.

Blessings – Debbie

Braving the Elements

Well it’s like I had no choice but to get right out there in the pouring down rain.  It all started when I realized I was completely out of dishwasher gel packs, the horror!

The sky was so dark

While the rain came down, all I could think about was the fact that I was on a mission.  Indeed the mission was accomplished rain and all.

But at the end of the day, there was a nice surprise.  The clouds parted a bit and made room for the sun to reflect.

Although I relish a nice rain and naps, there’s something to be said about the pretty sunshine and blue skies after the rain.  There’s hope for lush green gardens and a pretty day in paradise.

Blessings – Debbie

The Joys Of Water

From the time I was a child, I’ve had a strong fascination with water.  Oh the days of sneaking water into my little tea kettle and playing with it in my bedroom.  And the days when my brothers and I built a dam from the tiniest little stream in our backyard.  It took persistence and time, but we eventually had that little trickle built into a waist deep dam.  Little engineers we were as there was no limit to our imaginations.

So this morning as I sat at the breakfast bar having a little breakfast, I noted the weather man was spot on today.  We’re having another wet day.  With tiny drops of rain on the window and very dark skies, I’m sure there’s more rain to come.

All nature filled to overflowing.

And anything in the elements for that matter has been thoroughly drenched.

The plants of all kinds are flooded with plenty of liquid.

There’s drips and drops and splashes and there’s something special and soothing with all the commotion.

There’s plenty of drops to go around, wish I could capture each one.

I’m mesmerized, wish I could take pictures all day.

But there are things jotted down on my to do list…Consequently, here’s one last drop before I run.

So while the commotion on the outside continues, my cup runneth over knowing there’s a time and season for all things.  And to capture these moments as they pass by are a joy.

Blessings – Debbie

Beauty On The Inside While The Storm Rages

A clean kitchen does my heart good.

A clutter free sink is such a good feeling.

But I’m debating cleaning the oven before Christmas.

All in all, I’d say we’re all ready for Christmas, including the kitchen sink!

It continues to rain here in Southern California.  I think the rain will produce a nice fresh look for Christmas.

This little guy could use a little help along the lines of looking nice and fresh.

A stroll through the pergola…

Entering from the other side…

and on in a little further.  Everything is all pretty much doused with a great big portion of H2O.

The wind and rain brought lots of falling debris

it’s  all over the place.

The sky has been heavy this week but we’re looking forward to the beautiful blue skies with green vibrant landscapes very soon.  Although I think we’re in for yet another rainy day tomorrow.

The top of the mountain out back, covered with a little blanket of fog.

No matter how I look at it, I always enjoy this view.

 As I try to keep it clean on the inside, I certainly can’t keep up on the outside.

But the beautiful thing is that no matter what happens on the outside of our lives, we can still have beauty, peace and love on the inside.

Blessings – Debbie

What This Monday’s Made Of

First things first was that faithful morning cup of coffee as I was packing hubby’s lunch.  All was going as planned as I started working my way through the laundry and Monday morning cleaning.  And the Christmas tunes filled the air early on.

On the outside there’s wind + rain + the ground covered in the prettiest yellow blanket.

Remember this tree from last week?  Well the leaves have pretty much made their way to the ground in one big heap.  I suppose this tree wanted to be right on schedule for the first day of winter, which is officially tomorrow.

I love raindrops

Yes, everything about raindrops.

This Monday is also made of leftovers from Saturday night.  A nice quick easy lunch complete with olives.  Does the world know that olives could potentially be one of my favorite things to pair with good food?  Just so you know, these little devils are what make this meal go from good to great!

And what I love about this Monday is that I’m staying home sweet home all day.  I even filled out the request online for the mailman to pick up a package at our front door.  There will be no PO runs or shopping runs, just a nice day at home on our cool 57°F rainy autumn day.

Blessings – Debbie

Christmas Party

We had a party last evening but by the end of the night, I was far too tired to blog.  I’m so disapointed that I missed blogging yesterday. I had a goal to blog every day this month but it just didn’t work out.  I’ll continue to try to keep up the daily blog through the end of the month.  I’m trying to get myself back into the habit as I let the blog gather way too much dust this year.  I have goals for next year and want to continue to dedicate my time here.  Anyway, enough about this and back to the party.

A party has to start somewhere and the kitchen sink is where it all begins.

Getting ready for a bite or two…

Hubby made little cards for the food, I really like how they turned out.

Just about ready to dig in.  I forgot to take pics of the meat on the other counter…

We enjoyed visits with so many guests.  Meet Vern and Vicki, I learned that she and I share the interest of pottery.

After dinner, there were games to play.  The girls brought in chairs to watch the rousing pool games.

The Wii commanded attention

And new Mii’s were made.

All the while pool games were played

Phil getting ready to make a move.

And soon another game was underway.  Q racking the balls.

Well into the game.

Lorraine and Philip were amazing and there were many couple games played through the night.

Hubby and Nick in the middle of their game.

It was a night of snacking, eating yummy sweets and enjoyed with some pretty Christmas music.  It was a fun filled evening all the way around.

Hubby at the end of the night.

We’re thankful for friendships and blessed to have these great times to remember.

Blessings – Debbie

Seeing Is Believing

I saw Santa in the window of the Apple Store at the mall today.  Seeing is believing,  as I saw Santa having a great conversation with Mrs. Claus.  Are they not the cutest couple?

It was a day filled with so many fun activities

  1. There was an early morning shopping trip to the mall
  2. Mid morning – Had my hair touched up with a bit more color
  3. Hubby and I had a great lunch date
  4. After lunch I hit the nail salon
  5. Finished up that last min. grocery shopping (for our little party tomorrow)
  6. Hubby took me out to dinner so that I wouldn’t have to make a mess in the kitchen
  7. We also went to the mall after dinner looking to pick up a few last min Christmas gifts

I hate abrupt endings but I’m so ready for sleep. The End.

Blessings – Debbie

The Scoop From The Inside Out

A little bit of rain, lots of clouds and a hint of blue sky is how we started our winter day.

It reached a high of 58°.  And the clouds made room for a little blue sky.

It was pretty much 1/2 clouds and 1/2 blue all afternoon.

I normally don’t step out on this side of the house, I should take advantage of the sidewalk more often…

And out back I noticed this bush clustered with the tiniest buds.  This is the first I’ve seen it blossom.  I wonder if it just blooms this time of year.

I used to think it was just a pretty green plant with vibrant red tips, but how pretty to see it coated with blossoms too.

While the weather was doing its thing on the outside, I was quite busy on the inside.  This glass was cleaned, floors were mopped and a dust rag was swung.  Cupboards were rearranged, the kitchen is clean and I’m pretty much done with all the cleaning for the week.

I can’t think of a prettier way for the day to end.

It’s been a great day and I’m looking forward to getting lots of R & R this evening.  I may even put on a pot of coffee in a bit and call it a day.

Blessings – Debbie

Shopping Blunder – My Bad

Lists were made, recipes were thoroughly inspected, ingredients were added to the shopping list.  And much care went into making sure everything was on the list.  We’re planning a little Christmas party Saturday evening and I certainly need to have it in gear well before Saturday.

That’s why lists were made such that I could get everything in one fell swoop.  I had it all planned out.  Finish all grocery shopping today – Finish the cleaning tomorrow – Hair and nail appointment Friday – Prepare food Saturday – Chill with guests Saturday evening.

Can you imagine my surprise when I secured my shopping buggy and went to reach for my trusty shopping list, only to find it was not with me?  My immediate reaction was a mix of panic and the first thought was to rush home and retrieve the list.  Then after I got over that first wave of shock I thought, “I can do this, I know my recipes/ingredients by now”.

I’d say after piling 68 items in the cart that I did pretty good.

The thing that puzzles me is that my lists were laying on the driveway when I got home.  I still have no idea how I managed to drop them out there.  But the good news is that I only forgot 2 items, limes and garnish for one of my platters.  I feel it was a successful shopping trip all things considered.

As I finished putting the last bit of groceries away, I noticed this pretty view out the kitchen window.

And as night falls in our little corner of the world, I’d have to say it’s been a great day.

Blessings – Debbie

Autumn In Our Backyard

While we have lush green grass, roses, birds of paradise and flowers all in bloom, it appears we have a tree just outside our bedroom that has started shedding its leaves.

With a quick slide of the sliding glass doors, I walked out to see it dressed in the prettiest yellow.

The view from our bedroom – What a colorful canopy.

And one last look to see where all the fuss is coming from.

On the inside (for whatever reason) I’m experiencing a little bit of trouble with my plants.  I killed the last ivy.  No matter how much I made sure it had plenty of water, it just didn’t make it.

So I replaced it with this nice hearty plant.  I do plan to give it regular visits with the sunlight.  I’m thinking that’s the problem as I did not do anything other than water the last plant that filled this space.

In case you can’t tell, I really go for plants that like to sprawl all over.  Makes me happy.

So today yields a changing of the season.  On the outside we have a mix of flowering bushes with a few leaves falling.  I’m optimistic with sunny skies and a big chance for blue skies all day.

On the inside, I’m a busy little bee preparing for a little Christmas party at the homestead Saturday evening.

Blessings – Debbie

I Love You Too

It was thirteen years ago this evening that hubby and I enjoyed our very first Christmas dinner party together.  I remember being a little nervous as we were so young and fresh in our relationship.  And how could I forget the struggle finding what I thought to be the perfect dress.  I must have shopped for what seems like weeks.  It was exciting times no doubt and he filled a great big spot in my heart.

A quick shot of us before leaving for the party.

I still recall placing the napkin in my lap at the right time, using the little fork for my salad and trying not to spill anything.  Yes, there was that faithful visit to the ladies room to apply lipstick and to give my hair a brush to make sure it was all in its rightful place.  And I remember looking in the mirror thinking “the most amazing man in the whole world is with me”.  How could that be?  How could this be happening to me?  With a little spray of perfume, I was back out to be reconnected with the one who made my heart skip a beat.

He rocked my world!  And when there was no sign of a mistletoe, he made the most of it.  I love the way he makes the most of life.  I love the way he sees possibilities while others see roadblocks.  I love that he never asked to kiss me or pull out a stunt like this.  This is him and I love that about him.

We were dancing and he just went with his very own flow.  And to this day, he continues to surprise me at each turn.  I love the way he loves me and will always be grateful for him, just the way he is.

On this very night thirteen years ago is when he first told me he loved me.  I wanted to quickly say “I love you too” but I didn’t.  I will say, I was caught up in the moment of the love that I felt for him but so scared to just let go of my heart.  That night as we parted, he had given me a great big chunk of his heart.  And as I closed my eyes at the end of the day, all I remember going through my mind were those three little words he had just said to me. 

I love you too my love, thank you for making these the best years of my life.

Blessings – Debbie


A trip to Islands would be our favorite place to get a burger.

After all, they’re known for their fine burgers and drinks.  And every now and then, we get a hankering.

The ambiance truly has the Island flair.

Although we’re not in Hawaii, we feel the love.

 The menu is fun

and tropical…

Before our meals arrived, we had such a great visit.  My hubby had just asked me when it was that I first fell in love with him, like I am today.  The answer was easy and he then reached for the camera on the table and took this pic.  And said, “yes, that’s my Debbie Sue.”

We’re not perfect, but we’re perfect for each other.  I heard that quote sometime ago and it stuck with me.  A flood of memories came back from our early dating years.  And many of these special memories were shared together again today.

Soon we were served.

Hubby had “The Big Wave” with cheese.  P.S. the yummy fries are unlimited.

I had one of my favorite tuna wraps ever.  They certainly put lots of love into the preparation of this sandwich, words can’t express the goodness.  But there in the back, way in the back are the best onion rings on the planet!  P.S.  Their onion rings are unlimited too!  I didn’t ask for more as I only finished 1/2 the sandwich but I did make room for all the rings.

After all, I had to save room for Cold Stone as that was the plan after dinner.  What a way to top off the meal.

From Islands to Cold Stone, it’s certain I’ve taken in a whole lot of calories.  But it’s certain that it will also add up to great memories for years to come.

Blessings – Debbie

Patio Dates

Are are right up there at the top of my list these days.  And weekends seem to be the only time we really get to enjoy sitting out here together.  During the week, it’s always pitch black and a bit too chilly to enjoy dinners outdoors.  So, we’re taking advantage of it as much as we can.

As I started putting a few things out on the table, I decided to whip out the candle too.

I made nachos for hubby and put together some cheese, turkey, veggies and dip for myself.

Our outdoor visits may not be well documented but I do cherish these times.

And after we cleaned the table, I still wanted to stay put.

But I didn’t as we had a number of things to cross off the to do list.

That table is bugging me, it’s just now reminding me that I need to move it again.  I constantly put my feet up on the bar below the table.  And as I rock away in my chair, I continue to ever so slightly scoot the table.  Excuse me while I get over it.

Well that was noon and now we’re cruising into the dinner hour.  Hubby just announced that he’s hungry for a burger.  More along the lines of our favorite burger joint “Island Burgers”.  Now I’m hungry for one.

He’s in the middle of a show at the moment.  So time will tell what we do with our Island Burger craving. Who knows, we may be scrounging around in the cupboards and fanning the refrigerator door soon.

Blessings – Debbie