Monday, September 20, 2010

Home Sweet Home....

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
My mother and father-in-law lived in this humble home for 46 amazing years.
It's a treasure trove of memories. Wonderful. Sweet. Memories.
My husband, his older brother and sister were each born and raised
in this home on Garden Grove Avenue in Tarzana.

It's also the very place where their darling Grandma Rose spent her final days on earth.
Several grandchildren have joined the Bluemel Family and filled this home with their laughter and joy.

I know my 3 children created some very fond memories in this home over the years.
From celebrating their birthdays~
To hiding inside the GINORMOUS orange tree in the backyard.
And eating blackberries straight off the blackberry bush.
Finding cups filled with gold on St. Patty's Day
And on Easter collecting colorful Easter eggs that had been dropped
all over the yard by the Easter Bunny himself.

Or how about my little Miss Katie helping her Nana cook our
Thanksgiving Feast each year since she was 18 months old.
It has been fun watching how much Katie has grown--
just by looking at photos of her sitting on the kitchen counter right next to her Nana baking pies, making homemade rolls, and all the fixings that make Thanksgiving such a favorite holiday.

All the grandchildren treasure the evening walks they went on with
their Nana around the neighborhood.
To visit the "spooky bridge" and water fountain.
There were many basketball games played on the driveway.
Except, since Little Miss Megan was too small to join in an energetic game of basketball, she would go find her Gramps~
and he would willingly put on her favorite movie, Rudolf.
Time and time again.
Rudolf was played year 'round in the Bluemel home.

The children had countless fun sleepovers at Nana & Gramps' house.
They watched movies together.
Read books and played games.
Art was created.
Blocks were stacked.
And dominoes stretched from one end of the house to the other.
And most importantly,
everyone laughed together...

We always had a good time when we visited.
And we always looked forward to our weekend visits to the Valley.

Because it was a home filled with love.
Each person that entered the Bluemel Home
on Garden Grove Avenue always felt welcome,
cared for, and loved.
Regardless if they were "family" or not.
Nana & Gramps opened their home to many.

The memories made in the Bluemel Home in Tarzana will last a lifetime.
And we will forever miss this place we called "HOME" for so long.

Today as I sit here writing this,
my mother and father-in-law are unpacking boxes, organizing shelves, and setting up rooms.
They're making a new home for themselves in a little town in Ohio, outside of Columbus.
A new chapter in their lives has been opened.
And an exciting adventure awaits them.

Thankfully we live in an era of technology.
Which will help us to stay close~despite the distance that separates us physically.
We will blog.
And talk on the phone~
What would we do without these marvelous modern marvels?
I guess we'd go back to sending postcards.
handwritten letters.
And photos through snail mail.
This is just so much easier.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Sweet Buddy Dog....

This here is Buddy.
He's our 2 year old pure-bred German Shepherd.

Buddy is our protector.

He loves to play and run around at the park.

He loves playing catch with his favorite ball.
We are always amazed at just how fast he is
and what cool tricks he can do!

He is great at bringing us comfort when we are feeling down.

He enjoys laying around the house and hanging out with the family.

I never had a dog growing up. I always wanted one. Just like every other kid. Instead, my family had an adorable rabbit~named Lucky.
I loved Lucky.
She lived an unusually LONG life.
18 years to be exact. Pretty incredible, huh?!?

A couple years ago, Gary surprised our family with a sweet little fluffy white bunny. We named her Daisy. Unfortunately, before we brought Daisy home, we didn't do enough "bunny research".
So we had no idea that rabbits were such temperamental animals
{Okay, we should have known}.

Here's the bottom line...
Rabbits can't handle extreme heat since they are not good at regulating their body temperature.
I hate confessing this,
but Daisy ended up living a very short life.
The HOT Southern California summer heat did her in.

I figured since I had an outdoor rabbit growing up
and since she lived well beyond the norm~all rabbits would have the same Luck--just as my pet rabbit, Lucky did!
However, my thought process...
that rabbits are a piece of cake to care for, was wrong.
Horribly. Horribly wrong. So sorry Daisy. May you rest in peace.
Maybe we shouldn't buy pets from the store spontaneously anymore.
Lesson learned.

Shortly after Daisy's death, we went back to the pet store to find a new friend. A Daisy replacement, if you will.
While there looking around, I whispered into Gary's ear, "it'd probably be easier to care for a dog!"
We left the pet store that day empty handed.

The following weekend, we adopted Buddy.
He became a very welcome addition to our family one warm summer Sunday afternoon in July 2008.
Since adopting Buddy,
he has been to Boot Camp and is a very well-trained canine.
But, don't get me wrong!
He still has puppy/teenager type tendencies.
Regardless, we love him to pieces and enjoy having him around.
Buddy is truly a HUGE part of our family.
He completes us.

I will admit, before having Buddy, I was not much of a dog person.
I'm happy to say, I am now!

And I still love cute, fluffy bunnies.
I wonder if Buddy
would be able to handle having a Bunny around as a pet???
That could be...
A pure-bred German Shepherd and a little, fluffy bunny.
Running and hopping around together.
Cuddling together.
It could be quite cute.
Buddy is actually a very gentle dog.
And I think he'd be happy having a new

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sweet Summer Ending

Summer went by way too fast. We had tons of fun though.
And we spent as much time together as we possibly could.
What all did we do?

We went to bed late.

And slept in every day.

Visited many museums.

Watched magnificent movies.

Played with our favorite friends.
Made s'mores. And other delicious treats.

Swam like fish.

Watched entertaining shows at our local library.

We went to the zoo.

Rode wild rides at theme parks.

Spent precious time with family.

Stayed in hotels.

Watched stunning sunsets at the beach.

For our last hurrah,
we spent a week in San Francisco together as a family~which was priceless.
The kids were taken back by the massive bridges.
The sparkling ocean.
And especially by the fog which rolled in each night like dry ice flowing over a cauldron.
During our stay in San Francisco, it was quite cold for summer!
But a very welcome change from the scorching
Southern California heat we managed to escape.

We took many photos on our trip. I especially adore this snapshot of our family. A darling senior couple was nice enough to stop while they were taking a bike ride along the boardwalk and asked us if we wanted our picture taken. We handed our camera right over to them and it turned out perfect.

I love it. Everyone is actually looking at the camera, smiling and Megan is not sticking out her tongue~which is what she's usually doing. The girl is rarely serious for the camera. In fact, anytime one comes out and is pointed at Megan, it seems to be her "I'm going to be silly" cue. And I'm talking full-on, outta control silliness! Don't get me wrong, I love it. It's what makes us smile every single day. But sometimes it's nice to capture a family photo tongue free. And crazy silly free.

I love my family and love that we spent such a memorable summer together making fun memories. It was one of our best summers ever. There was never a dull moment. I don't think I ever heard the words "Mom, we're bored". Which had been my goal before summer ever started. Mission accomplished.

I can't wait for Summer 2011!
Until then it's...
Back to school.
Homework. Soccer. Piano.
And all the wonderful holidays I adore.