Sunday, September 19, 2010


It is official. I am babysitting two wonderful grandsons every Thursday and Friday. Kru will be 2 on October the 25th and Jax was born June 18th of this year (on his Daddy's birthday) making him almost 3 months old. I have babysat them for 2 weeks so far. Kru looks mostly like his Dad, is very active, very smart and articulate. He doesn't forget a thing, very strong willed, very precious. He is not one to sit and watch TV or play with a particular toy for very long. He loves going to the park, riding a skateboard, playing basketball, riding Emily's Razor scooter. Jax is a little more laid back, or at least it seems so. He likes to be talked to. He is a chunky little thing with cute cheeks, beautiful blue eyes and a slightly darker complexion than Kru. He looks mostly like his Mommy. He likes to have something over him, like a blankie or something. He loves to look around. He smiles and laughs and holds himself very well for his age. He has the softest skin imagineable. It is a real joy to babysit them and I don't do anything on those two days but watch them. We go to the park about 9:30 to 11:00, then we have a picnic lunch at the park. They both fall asleep on the way home and take about a hour and one half nap. We then do various things. I am very thankful that I have a son and daughter-in-law that trust me to take care of these precious boys. I look forward to watching them grow up. God has been so very good to me.
This is Jax enjoying the swing. Are those some cute cheeks or what?

What can I say? This baby is just so adorable. Yummy!

Kru found himself a little friend. He took her hand and led her all over the play ground. She tried to take him down the big slide but he prevailed and pulled her towards the monkey bars.

Here I am trying out the carrier. It is complicated.

Kru playing in the sand.

Love the rolls.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Santa Barbara Train Trip

Emily wanted to ride on a train so we decided to take a trip to Santa Barbara. Everyone has told me how beautiful it is and I was not disappointed. Absolutely stunning! I reserved Amtrak tickets but we had to take the Metrolink to get to Amtrak. We missed the first train, drove to the next station, missed it too. So we waited knowing we missed our Amtrak but it all worked out. Amtrak was great, beautiful ride up the coast. Emily enjoyed the cafe and making some new friends. Our hotel was great - across from the beach. We rented some sort of pedal car - a really good workout - doubtful if we do that again. We went to Stern's Wharf and went to the Sea Museum, went shopping (I could have really enjoyed that but Emily is not much into shopping), went swimming in the pool. The next day we went downtown and saw several historical sites and visited an art museum. We caught the train for home about 3pm. It was a great trip.
This is the view out of the Amtrak window.

Emily playing puppets in the Sea Museum.

Santa Barbara Beach

Our hotel room

This was the hotel we stayed in.

We pedaled this along the bike path for 3 to 4 miles.

This is the bike path along the beach.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Campland 2010

We just got back from 4 days of Campland on the Bay in San Diego. Emily and I had a great time with brother-in-law Dave and his wife Barb and lots of friends. Emily and I rented a Kayak. I didn't realize what a great arm workout it would be. We also rode bikes, scooters and Emily sang in a talent show. She was very proud of her medal and free ice cream coupon. I went ocean swimming with a girlfriend and enjoyed the beach and a few glasses of wine. I love riding Emily's beach cruiser. I turned on my air conditioner for the first time today. It was very warm when we got home. I did not take a single picture. Hopefully, I can scavenge some soon. I always enjoy Dave, Barb, family and friends.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Murrieta Birthday Bash

We live in a town of about 101,500 people. They had a birthday bash this weekend with lots of blow up and carnival rides. There were bands and food and lots of families set up in tents to enjoy the day. At night they did a big fireworks display. We had a great time. My favorite was the annual 'hose the kids down' event put on by the firefighters. It was so cute. It is amazing how much kids love the water. Emily and the new friend she made was right on the front row. Luckily she had wore her bathing suit under her clothes because she got drenched between that and the water rides. She slept great last night.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Venice Beach

Today we went to Venice Beach - Greg, Emily and myself. It is a beautiful beach with a lot of sandy shoreline. We also went to Muscle Beach - it was ok. It is part of Venice Beach. There are vendors up and down the road next to the beach. A lot of unique people selling their goods - a lot of talent. Not sure who was the most unique - the vendors or some of the people walking up and down the road. Driving home was not fun - traffic - eeek!

15 Mile Trail Run - Big Bear California

Sunday, several members of my running group, myself and a friend of mine from Arizona did the Holcomb Valley Trail Run. Suzy, and others did the 33 mile run. I don't think I could do that. She is great at it and came in 1st in her age group. And yes (I don't know why), there were several people running the 33 miler, in fact, it was sold out. Anyway, it was a great trail but I have been injured and didn't run 10 days before the race. I quit running, hoping to get some healing in. I am still injured and plan on going to the doctor. I say this because I figure that is why I fell down six times during the race. It doesn't explain why I made the wrong turn and did an extra 2 miles. So I get to enter 17 miles in my log book. Here are some pictures from the race. It was a lot of fun just not my day.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Camping at Carlsbad State Beach.

Emily and I went camping with Matt and Nina at the Ocean this Wednesday and Thursday. Of course, we had a most wonderful time. We got there Wednesday evening and had a great dinner with chicken and corn cooked on the grill. Thursday, Nina and I ran 5 miles then we all went to Starbucks for breakfast. Then Matt and I went on a 25 mile bike ride while Nina watched Emily. Emily says that Matt and Nina are her best buddies now. Then we played at the beach all day. There was hardly anyone there. I guess going before the holiday weekend is a good thing! Later we went to a restaurant for dinner. Emily had her favorite - a pinacolada (non-alcohol). In the evening we danced at the campfire to Nina's Ipod music. No wonder she is such a fast runner. Emily was exhausted by the time she went to bed.
This morning, Nina and I got on our wetsuits to practice swimming in the ocean. We started about 7am. It was cold, cold, cold and the waves knocked you down they were so strong. I swallowed a lot of saltwater. Yuk! Emily and Matt cheered us on from the shore. I must say that I will need a lot more practice before doing an Ocean tri. Afterwards, we spent some time on the beach before packing up and coming home.
On the way home we stopped at this 'hole in the wall' restaurant that always has a long line of people waiting. It is in the middle of nowhere at a 'park and ride' and is called Nessy Burger. When we drove up there were a lot of people sitting on their tailgates eating huge hamburgers - hilarious. We all had one. They were very good. Anyway, we had an absolutely wonderful time.

Lois Minich Memorial Gathering at Franciscan Renewal Center

Jim's Mother, Lois, went to her home in heaven on May 10th of this year. A gathering was held for her on Sunday, May 16th. It was held at the Franciscan Renewal Center where Lois attended events with The Daughters of Eve. It was very nice and something that Lois would have enjoyed.

I thought alot of Lois. She was a very special women. Some of my favorite things about her...

She was a great grandma. She always sent Emily (and all the other grand children) a card on every occasion filled with trinkets, book marks and a balloon. Emily loved getting her balloon.

She loved to play bridge and was really, really good at it.

She read Emily a book anytime she asked her.

She always thought of me - always treated me like family. Sometimes she would call just to chat.

I liked the way she said - "Jimmy, where are you?" when she left a message on the telephone.

She loved watching Penn State play ball. She like her tv.

She loved having us for dinner and enjoyed our company.

I liked the way her and Ed held hands! I liked how proud she was of her children.

Here are a few pictures of the gathering:

This was taken in August of 2009. Ed passed away in November. Lois followed him in May.

This is the Labyrinth we walked.


James and Jake made this in the center of the Labyrinth. It says R.I.P. G&G. Lois used to always sign her cards - G&G for Grandma and Grandpa. After Ed died, she signed them '-G'.

Blueberry Picking

We went to the Temecula Berry Farm and picked a lot of blueberries. Kru and Emily had a blast. So did we. Tony took pictures. Next we will be going to a U-pick cherry farm. Yummy!

Beach Run Bike Run

I am so far behind posting activities. May 13th, my friend, Nina and I decided to go to Oceanside beach for a workout and rest day. We got there about 9:30, parked and ran 5 miles. Afterwards we rode our bikes a total of 28 miles. We rode at the Camp Pendleton Military Base and then to downtown Carlsbad where we ate at a Mexican restaurant. We biked back to Oceanside and ran another mile then spent the rest of our time on the beach. Great fun!
They were conducting training exercises and posing for us with the hover craft.

Great restaurant. We were starving by the time we got to Carlsbad for lunch and very relaxed when we got back on our bikes. In fact, I fell over at a stop light - very embarrassing.
This is the Carlsbad beach.