Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Here are the boys after the 4 o'clock Halloween Parade. There was a family of skunks who won first prize for matching family. Our little devil is getting really tall and too long for his clothes. I was Pipilongstockings. I just wore what I was wearing already and as you can see, I needed mom to do my hair. It was hard to do by myself. Danny had a real bullet proof helmet and Gio was a real homemade dragon/dinosaur we got at the thrift store.
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happy halloween

Here's a little Halloween for your morning. Probably the cutest elephant I've ever seen. His team at work is doing a jungle theme. They decorated their cubicles like a jungle. We hope he gets a prize for the most economical. We found the nose online, he already had the hoodies, and the ears are just paper that is ducktaped and then pinned to his head. Maybe I will post a full body shot later. He is wearing gray sweat pants.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Not Much

Shelley & I had a good time hiking & biking through Croatia & Slovenia. Think old Italian coastal dwellings, tile roofs, old stone, old doors/windows, limestone hills with scrubby trees & churchs. I took lot's of pictures which are safely locked inside my iMAC's iPhoto program. Stuck would be the word for it since I can't figure out how to get them out & into a Compact Flashcard so that I can reload them into my Canon program that came w/my new Canon digicam. I have a card reader that should read & write. I just want to get rid of iPhoto, save my pic's & move on. Suggestions?

Last week we went to Sacramento to visit Mimi. Suzelle was there also. We did some clean up, picked pom's, did repairs, etc. A bonus was a b'Day party for Trisha who is now 40. There was so much sugar frosting on the carrot cake one could hear moaning from your pancreas. Jake & family came. Natalie made up a song & the sister's sang.

Here at home has been continual cleaning since Jake & family moved. We have a constant flow & ebb of change to our home. Hot tub took some repairs/$$$$ to get it going only to find out that after 20yrs rust never sleeps. The gas fired heater had a leak that would have been exciting under our trees. It's gone. Now we have more deck space.

I would like to send photos but I need counseling for my bad habits of not taking the time to read instructions.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Scouting out Surf Spots

I've been taking Enzo to beaches up North that have waves to scout out the surf spots. Its kind of fun. Enzo likes chasing the seagulls, rolling around in the sand, throwing rocks, jumping in tide pools, and just jumping in general. I like checking out the waves and being at the beach. I will post some wave pictures as soon as I get them.
Also I harvested some radishes and lettuce from our garden. Not lilikoi but we can't have everything. I love and miss everyone.

Zeke and Friends

The top picture is Zeke with his girlfriend Joslin in a mango tie dye and the bottom is Zeke with Carter. These are the kids of my two walking buddies. Joslin is three months maybe and Carter is four days older than Zeke (May 4th). He's quite a bit fatter though. You can't see his face in this picture, but his cheeks are where he stores a lot of his fat.

The other day I was taking Gio on a walk so that he could fall asleep, but as usual he could not sit still in the stroller. He was basically rolling around and being as wiggly and active as he could without falling out of the stroller when he bumped his face on something (I have no idea what). He started crying, but I just ignored him. Finally, because he wouldn't stop crying, I looked to see what was wrong. His nose was bleeding. "What happened?" I asked. "Gio hurt his nose." Then wiping his nose all over the stroller commented "The puppy has strawberry juice coming out of his nose." (The puppy is his alter ego. When he is not refering to himself as Gio he calls himself the puppy.) I can ask Gio to do something repeatedly with no response, but I only have to ask the puppy to do something once. For example, "Gio come eat your dinner," repeated ten times on deaf ears. "Puppy, come here, I have some puppy food." The puppy comes immediately bounding and wagging his tail. It's pretty cool.
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portola woods

i went camping at a very beautiful place called portola woods. there were a lot of redwoods, which made me very happy considering that next to cherry blossoms, shower trees, and fruit trees, redwoods are my favorite. it reminded me of our visits to miranda to visit suzelle and my grandma betty and grandpa bill. i have been yearning to go up there again. it has been far too long.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

55=423 Naniloa still lives

As you can see, our people can rival your people any day for cuteness. Mikey and Minami spent the night and we had a good time stamping. Tailee got the good sport award today for doing a triple totem pole with Adam on the bottom, her in the middle, and Minami on top. To get down they went into the water and she was still wearing her clothes. (Adam says you need a picture to get the full effect.) I also included a family of the day Christian and Damaris left. Enzo is living up to the Palmer tradition of looking deceptively stoned. Also, I couldn't resist including Enzo's Elvis hair (a Halloween idea if you can find a glittery jumpsuit.

Christmas Gift Giving Survey

Let's decide together what to do about gift giving this Christmas. Here are some possible choices:

1. Give to whomever you want (see this week's Office for discussion of whomever).
2. Give to the people you spend Christmas with (Out of sight, out of mind).
3. Draw names in some fashion or another and send gifts.
a. Each person give to a person outside their own immediately family
b. Each family gives to another family

And also:
1. Gifts could have price limits or not
2. Could be used, made, or not, etc.

What do we want to do?

I too took pictures of the last mango and will try to post it (I'm at school). We now have two yard sculptures and a bird bath (go Jake). Amaya makes me feel good by wanting to come with me when I go past. She likes best when we open both back doors so she can come and go from house to house at will (which works as long as both side gates are locked). She usually makes a bee line for Chey and Erica's room. She likes their accessories. She has a big gap to fill--the gap left by Enzo and other resident babies, but she's doing her best. I love you all so much.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Pammy Mammy's Yard

I was going to put this up on my blog, but then I realized that you guys would probably appreciate it here.

Amaya loves Pammy. She calls her "Mammy." I try to feel as related to the Palmers as I can, so it helps that Amaya's the cutest way I can get in. She gets very very upset if Pam walks by or leaves without taking her along. When Pam is doing yardwork she often has to hold Amaya in one arm and do her gardening with the other (even when mowing the lawn). Amaya loves to wander the backyard and find fallen lemons, rocks, potted soil, and anything else that may fit into her mouth.
The good thing about fruit in Pammy's yard is that it's very manageable. She pulled the last mango off the tree today, the lemons are used regularly, and there are some beautifully shaped lilikoi that will be ripe in a few weeks. No breadfruit here, and also, no flies. Just picture perfect, yellow to orange hues.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

I was filming Enzo at the park and had another one of those conversations with yet another stranger

stranger: "Woah you are really a dedicated nanny, filming him and all"

Me: "Oh, I'm not his nanny. I'm his mom"

stranger: "Oh." Pause and then tries to explain herself "well yeah, it's just that your hair is so dark and he's so light and...." (at this point I was tuning her out and luckily Enzo ran to another slide and I was following him)

without fail whenever I got to a park alone with Enzo people always assume I'm the nanny. The worse was when I took him to the play group in the park and I was speaking Portuguese with him and another mom was right there with her kid playing at the craft table. When she herd me speaking Portuguese to Enzo she asked in a VERY loud and slow voice "WHAT'S YOUR NAME?" she then went on to do this yelling thing with him. An overwhelming sense of guilt came over me. I hated when I moved to Chicago and people yelled at me assuming that if you yell people will understand English. What a bizarre phenomena. I felt so bad that Enzo being just 1 and 1/2 was dealing with this. He looked at her startled but of course didn't know what was going on. I can't wait till he's totally bilingual and if that happens again he can reply "please don't yell at me, yelling doesn't make me understand English any better."

I've been super sensitive this week after reading hours and hours of interviews of people who lived through the Jim Crow era. I'm not trying to compare my experience of being mistaken for a nanny to those who suffered extreme racism in the south, it's just that I've been very sensitive.

Maybe this whole thing can be to my benefit. Next time Enzo is being naughty at the park or tries to steal yet another sting cheese I can look totally innocent and say "His parents should really teach him some manners" and walk out of the situation looking like a darn good nanny.
my friend send me this video from you tube
it's about the immigration debate.

Friday, October 19, 2007


When I was dating Christian and we were planing my trip to Hawaii (meet the family trip) he started talking about Mariko. Christian really stressed that Mariko said that she had to approve of his future wife. He said "Yeah, I think she'll like you, but...yeah, it's kind of important if she really likes you." Let me just say that I was REALLY nervous when I met her, much more than meeting the family.
A year after living in Hawaii I should have remembered my initial desire to impress Mariko, it would have saved her a lot of time hearing me complain about things. But, I'm really glad I had someone to complain to. Someone who also didn't have a baby who slept through the night, someone who was always sympathetic when I was beyond tiered, someone who really helped my sanity. Mariko has been much more like family than a just a friend. I am so glad Christian was concerned about her opinion and I am so glad she is so much a part of our life.
She is the most generous person I know, not just with gifts but also with her time. She not only taught me how to drive IN HER CAR, but also watched both Enzo and Amaya at the DMV while I took both the written and the practice test. She never complained about driving me places and was always willing to pick things up for me at COTSCO. See, you might think that's not a big thing but it's huge when you have a kid and all you want to do is leave the store as quickly as possible.
However, my favorite thing about Mariko is that she is a total food lover. She makes delicious food and appreciates delicious food. By the way, thanks for going out to eat with me so many times. In fact I bet there is some good food happening tonight in honor of her birthday. I hope she has a wonderful day celebrating her cool life as a mom, wife, teacher, daughter, and friend!
I love you more than getting the sugar on my Flan to not burn, more than fried manioc, more than acai.
happy birthday my sweet friend!

news from russia

I told Austin to post, but he didn't have enough time, so I thought I would take one of his recent letters and post it for him. He is doing well--got transfered back to Moscow and says that one of his investigators in Voronezh will be getting baptized soon.

Dear family,

Things are going good. This week has been pretty normal. One thing interesting is that our open house is coming up and they are making us sing in the choir. And I really don't want to and my companion doesn't want to and the other elders.. well one of them actually can sing so he doesn't care but the other one doesn't want to and we all really suck at singing and there trying to do parts and all this jazz and like everyone can hear how bad we suck. And its funny to them and id really rather not sing but the lady is like crying about how there aren't enough men in the choir and all this sad story and how if we don't sing in the choir then there wont be a choir and then the open house wont be successful and it will be this huge waste and it will all be all our faults just because we didn't sing in the choir....

Then we when to his members house and taped up her windows so the cold air wont come in during the winter. And that was fun, not really but what can you do? We also went to a members garden thing out side the city and cut down this big apple tree and that was fun. Then the lady feed us some weird past, like just pasta with out any sauce or anything and this sausage thing that was really rubbery on the outside and like much inside, so yeah it was pretty normal. Other then that, we did our English contacting. Which is when we go stand on the street and hold a sign that says "English club, with Americans for free" except the "with Americans for free" part is in Russian. So yeah , we hold the sign and try to talk to people in English while they are walking past. Most just ignore us but some are like what the..? and come ask what were doing and it works pretty well. Usually all the pretty girls go talk to my companion. Probably cause he doesn't speak Russian yet. Or because he is usually holding the sign. Haha. And someone told us that the "with Americans for free" part kind of sounds weird, like innuendo, or something but we figure, flirt to convert right, that's a church program some where, I think.

Monday, October 15, 2007

About Time...


Ok, so this is my first time ever doing a blog and I am pretty excited! And let me tell you all that I miss you and I want you guys to come home!


Things in school are going well. It is midterm week and I am so not looking forward to it. I have 4 midterms this week, two on Monday and two on Friday (wish me luck). I love all of my classes and I love being in school even though it can be stressful. I've made a lot of new friends which helps because I've felt like such a loser ever since Ben left! But besides that school in wonderful and I am SO glad that I am in it.


HE WENT TO VISIT MY MOM!! So cool! I was sleeping soundly when Ben decided to call me at 2:45 am and he was telling me that he was driving past Arden Fair Mall... Hmm... Weird, we have an Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento. I totally thought he was joking but he wasn't! I told him the directions on how to get to my house and when he pulled into the apartments I called my mom and she was freaking out because the house was messy, blah blah blah. So he went up and stayed for a good 45 minutes and bonded with the fam. My mom is in love! I thought it was the sweetest thing and he said that he LOVES my family and thinks that all of you guys are awesome! Aside from that we are doing extremely well and are learning to be pros at this whole "long-distance" thing. We talk every day and I send him care packages which consist of: Muscle Milk, protein bars, deodorant, Muscle Fitness magazines, treats, etc. He's training to try out for football at Weber State in the Spring. He actually went with a couple of friends this weekend on a road trip to watch the Cardinals game and a UH game. So they drove from Utah to California, to Arizona, back to Utah. He's had so much fun and now he has a cold :(

I will be going to Michigan and Chicago during Christmas break for 9 days! I am super excited and nervous because I want them to like me! I will definitely keep you all posted!

These are some of the pictures from the dinner cruise that Ben and I went on the day before he left! I promise to post some new pictures when I take some!

Hope all is well with everyone!

Friday, October 12, 2007

berkeley and friends

the update:

so I went to a concert for the first time last Friday at UC Berkeley with Victoria and Dean. Despite being our sworn eternal arch rivals, Berkeley's campus is actually kind of nice. There are a lot of redwoods and some bridges over creeks, which I made Victoria pose on for pictures. Luckily we all happened to be wearing their school colors, navy blue and yellow. I felt kind of like a traitor to Stanford, posing like a Cal student, but last time I was at Berkeley, me and Jackie were wearing Stanford apparel, and let's just say we were lucky to get out alive. We went into the Admin building to use the bathrooms, which were in this sketchy basement area, and on the wall, every three feet, there was a sign that said something to the effect of, whatever crime you might want to commit, don't even try it, because "this is bear territory." I should have brought my switch blade.

Anyway, the band (The Shins) was pretty much amazing.

Another cool thing is that I am working as a Research Assistant for a professor this quarter, and we had a dinner meeting so he could tell us about some projects he is working on. Two that sound pretty interesting are on public attitudes on global warming, and the potentially demobilizing effect of shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I'll keep you abreast of any interesting developments.

Well, here are some pictures of life at Stanford for the past few weeks.
(Me and my good friend Vivi, who is from Monterrey, Mexico. Also me and Victoria skipping awkwardly down a hill at Berkeley. My roommates Hoku and Roni under a tree. Me walking.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

From Mimi with love

October greetings to all of you dear ones! Our trees are still green, but the breeze is like fall. Summer was short and cool (for us). We missed the annual Spring family visit (aka cousin's camp). Pammy made our summer by coming and staying for a couple of weeks. I stayed home mainly this summer. I walk nearly every day, but my left leg is still gimpy, though a little less gimpy every day.

Yesterday, Sue Upton (Charlene's sister) took me and Charlene and their mom Carol to Calevaras County Big Trees State Park about a 2 hour drive each way. We saw lots of scenery, mostly oak trees and conifers. (Karen is typing for me and she wants to tell you that I was car sick or had a 24 hour flu bug and had to watch the road the whole time both ways and was pretty miserable. So I will have to go back to see the BIGGEST TREES next time. Karen says that's ok because my Doctor tells me he thinks I could likely live another TEN YEARS. Lots of time to do road trips.)

Austin's and my grave marker is in and looks good--Sierra granite with an image of the St. George Temple. Not everyone gets to read his grave marker ahead of time :).

It is fun to see and read your blogs. Keep writing, please.

Love, Grandma Mimi

Surfing in Japan

So I finally went surfing again after a hiatus of eight months, not counting a few waves at Castles. My leg is still not healed at all, but I am finally doing some exercises. Anyway, so I caught a ride with someone in the ward and he wanted to be the first one in the water at a spot called Malibu. To be first, you have to be in the water at five, and since its two hours away, you have to get up at 3 am. Since I haven't been sleeping all that well anyway and haven't been suffering too much for lack of sleep, I decided to go. Also, I want him to know he can count on me to go, so he'll call me next time. Anyway, we got there and Malibu was totally flat and blown out. I actually wasn't too surprised since I had check the surf report and it had said it would be windy. So we found another spot facing more easterly and it was head high. It was pretty fun, although I could neither paddle nor really maneuver at all on the wave. A definite low in my surfing career. Then we came in and drove around had breakfast and checked a bunch more spots. One was kind of north facing and so the wind was offshore and it was a river mouth and was actually pretty hollow. Some waves even spit. Unfortunately the sets were maybe waist to shoulder high. If it were three to four times bigger it would have been epic. Also it was super crowded. Still I caught a few fun ones. And two hours back. Tolls were 15-20 dollars each way, but I wasn't really keeping track. Worth it though. Still cheaper than psychiatric care.
Oh and we are still trying to get a microwave and toaster. So tonight I biked across town to get one, maybe 30 min, got lost as usual, and couldn't find the person I was supposed to meet, forgot her number, and had to come home without anything. Kind of frustrating. Bekah finally went to Costco, so we have bagels and oatmeal and chocolate covered raisins. No good cereal though. Except granola for 12 dollars. Hmmm.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Floating Lady

We've been delinquent in our blog responsibilities, but hopefully this will be the first of many contributions. Part of the problem is figuring out exactly what to write. I had been thinking about it yesterday when someone sent me the perfect entry.

One of our favorite things to do this summer was to go swimming on the Floating Lady. It's a barge that they converted into a swimming pool and parked at the docks out in front of our house (right where Atlantic Ave meets the water). It was perfect to have a swimming pool within walking distance. They even poured sand to make two sand soccer fields (with nets) and a few volleyball courts. It's not Waimea but it was as close as we have ever had here- complete with outdoor showers and picnic tables. Also, no mesh lining required!

A friend (from Utah) noticed this picture from an article in Architectural Record magazine. We aren't sure why Amy didn't make it into the picture, but the rest of us did :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007


we are all in the spirit of learning around here. Christian and I with school and Enzo is learning some new words.

Enzo says a couple things now. He says a Luz, esse, olha, azul, agua, papa and mom (light, this, look, blue, water, papa and mom). He doesn't pronounce them all perfectly, but it all sounds very cute. He also doesn't know that blue means the color blue. He just repeats it whenever we say it. Though he does like saying it over and over again. I think it's ironic that the only word he says in English is mom. It is very distinctively mom and not mae or mama or mamae (Portuguese sounds for mom). The way he says it sounds very British, like mum.

He's also learning a lot of new baby signs. The process has been successful at times and confusing at others. We are now working on the signs for dog and cat. The way you do dog is by hitting your leg as if you were calling a dog. I showed him this while looking at his board books of dog. Now whenever he sees a dog he runs over to me and hits MY leg. As for cat you make whiskers with your hands on your face. Since the dog thing wasn't so successful I decided to show how to sign for cat on his face. Now when he sees a cat or when I say the word cat he comes to me gets my hand and wants me to do the whiskers on his face instead of doing it by himslef. Hummm...something is definitely getting lost in translation.

we are well. Life got busy very fast. I once again LOVE Sundays and the fact that I actually rest. General conference was incredible. A lot of learning definitely happened last weekend as well.

I can't wait for this weekend. kaity and Danny, I think noelle and shelly and steve!!!! So fun!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Hello Family! This cannibal soup has been simmering for several months so it should be really good by now. Watching food movies (Mostly Martha) makes me once again painfully aware that I am essentially not a cook. Or a photographer. But someone who appreciates beauty whether it's people or food. I miss all of you who are not here at present, in spite of the fact that Tailee made some killer banana bread (w/chocolate chips)--so you can see where priorities lie. Conference was a true feast. Brother Wirthlin is so sweet. And I'm going to try the test of good/better/best (knowing full well that many times good is as good is it's going to get). We ate tonight at Bouchers. Michelle made three different desserts. She wore a pink apron and pink striped pajama pants (in honor of spending Sunday at home). Love you more than summer. Mom

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

a first from north park drive

Hello all. From Karen (and Mimi, except she not with me). I am enjoying the stories and pictures and video. The other day I brought Mom over here to the Bouchers where we use David's computer when the room is free. Nick Boucher has a friend who is a roommate staying here in the office, but he works and is away a lot.

Mom had me read many posts. (I found out she can't read the screen very well.) Anyway, she was very interested in everything. Jesse's video of apartment and girls in Japan,etc. Noelle's dorm room. Pam's Sunday posts. All the great pictures of adorable great grandchildren and their attractive parents. She smiled or laughed out loud a few times. So I will let her post something next time she is here.

Dad died October 8, 2006 and the marker for his grave will be placed by the end of this week in time for October 8, 2007. We will all gather at the cemetery after Nan and Dave return from Utah. With Andy's help I will try to post pictures.

Thank you for the blog. All of you writers and photographers. And for sharing your sweet children in person and virtually.

Love you more than the season's first taste of sweet pomegranates.

Auntie Karen

Monday, October 1, 2007

other blogs

Jake Lipman just send me his family blog. Check it out to get news on the the Martinez crew.