Saturday, December 25, 2010

Jesse Tea!

This month, in an effort to help the kids focus on Advent, we made Jesse Tree ornaments for each day of Advent (pictured in an earlier post.) And so, on the 23rd, with Advent nearly at an end, I surprised them with a Jesse Tea Party. The idea is to have treats that represent the Bible stories we read to go along with the Jesse Tree ornaments, and see if the kids can identify them.

"O Radiant Dawn" grilled cheese sandwiches. Okay, little bit of a stretch, but we needed an anchor food before the kids started on the cookies.

Not everything I made turned out so well...
and a one, and a two...angel cookies burned on high!

Now on to what worked: Ten commandment Milano cookies, and Isaac's bundles of wood in the form of pretzel sticks and string cheese (incidentally, tying string cheese around pretzels is way harder than it sounds).

My best work for the day: Flower of Jesse cookies.

Abraham's descendents would be more numerous than these star cookies.

Tobias' fish crackers and apples with the gummie worms standing in for the serpent.

And finally, "House of Bread" rolls for Bethlehem.

I didn't tell the kids about the tea party or what we were doing, but as soon as the girls sat down they started guessing what the snacks were for. In fact, Monica was coming up with stuff that hadn't even occured to me, like the bread rolls and sparkling cider representing Melchisedek. I wish I had thought of that.

So the kids stuffed themselves silly, and had no idea they were learning catechism. Thanks to the Shower of Roses blog for this great idea.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar Eclipse, December 20th, 2010

The clouds broke apart for a few minutes for an early present, a Lunar Eclipse. Here are a couple of pictures.

This one is from 2257 hr. local time in California.

The moon in totality at 2355 hr. in California.

However, we did not have snow to start our winter for the 48th year in a row.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Advent 2010

It is Advent time again, so up go the decorations!

"You're tall, string those up there!"

No children were harmed in the decorating of this house.

The Mendozas do an art project, and the house does not burn down!
This is a Jesse Tree. It represents the Family Tree of Jesus, and each ornament stands for an event or person in the Bible.

Because nothing says christmas like the Starship Enterprise.

I can see Jean-Luc Picard from my house!

Need antlers and a red nose for the van now.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Kramer Sighting! Jimi Hendrix Edition

While watching our fine copy of the Monterey Pop Festival on DVD, we had a Kramer sighting!

Look and see...

Believability Rating: 33%.

The spelling of the name is spot on, and this Kramer is an engineer of sorts.

The Eddie Kramer who remixed the Jimi Hendrix portion of this Festival was born in South Africa, however, and is a sound engineer. The Kramer we know has NEVER heard a Jimi Hendrix song. Much less heard OF Jimi Hendrix.

Plus sound engineer Eddie Kramer is about 30 years older than Oklahoma Kramer. Oklahoma Kramer would also not approve of burning an instrument just to upstage the band The Who. Maybe.

Oh well.

Stayed tuned next time for another edition of


Thousands Of Teddy Bears Leap To Their Deaths In Calgary

Actually this was a charity drive by Petro Canada.

Over 23,000 Teddy bears were donated. Not bad considering attendance for the game was 16,000.

This was on Sunday the 12th of December, and the next day, players form the Calgary Hitmen went to a Fueling Station where 50 agencies picked up some stuffed Ursine-Canadians. Some players also went to the Alberta Children's HOspital to deliver some bears as well.

Finally, a Hockey Team from Calgary that San Jose Sharks fans can love!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


"i'm kind, I'm caring...."


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Perplexing Church Signs

Can anyone tell me just what is going on here?

OK, we know about wolves and and lambs in the Bible. Bears are mentioned in 1 Samuel, chapter 17. Cows are in the Bible frequently as well.

Let's see, Gangs, gangs, gangs....

Nope. Can't find the word "gangs."

Even in the messed up New World Translation, I can't find Gangs.

Would the Philistines count as a gang?

I am so confused.

Seen at Sacred Heart, Salinas, CA on the Feast of St. Nicholas, 2010.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday, Margaret!

Happy 2nd Birthday, Margaret!

It is a lot warmer over here in the land of your birth today, although we have not had snow either since 1962.

Enjoy yourself some cake and presents, as we enjoy this time-traveling cake.

God bless you, and may the Blessed Virgin Mary, who appeared on this day to St. Juan Diego, ever look after you.

We love you very much!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Monterey Bay Aquarium, December 2010

It's free week at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

If you ever get a chance to visit the Central part of the Left Coast, one suggested stop, besides Yosemite National Park, is the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you have ever seen Star TrekIV, The Voyage Home, then you might recognize the aquarium. One of us was even there when they filmed!

Here are just a few pictures to view. Let's head on inside, shall we?

Here is one of the Sea Otters. They are actually trained in a manner of sorts, but it is for their benefit. They are trained to get into nets so that they can be taken out of the tank for treatment. All the Otters at the Aquarium cannot be returned to the ocean for various reasons.

Hard to get a picture of them under the water.

Not fossils, but the skeleton of a whale.

Some of the Jellyfish found in the Monterey Bay.

Yes, this is actually a Seahorse, one called a Dragon Seahorse.

Yet another Seahorse that looks like the plastic plants you buy for your aquarium. Weird!

Seahorse swimming on by.

Sunset in Monterey.
Next time we go, it will be during Library Week when they give more free tickets!

Kansas Mom, How Could You???


Spotted in Monterey, CA on December 7th, 2010

We didn't know you were into this sort of stuff....

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Violin Recital by the kids, November 2010

Violin Recital by the kids at Church of the Wayfarer in Carmel, CA from last month.

First up is Long, Long Ago.

Next, Shortin' bread!

Finally, our newest Violin player, with Mockingbird.

You kids did very well, and we are very proud of you!

Halloween, 2010

A shot of our front yard for Halloween, 2010.

It is hard to tell, but that is a headless pirate, and two giant spiders way in the back on the lawn.

Shelob, eat your heart out!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Congratulations To Lieutenant Commander Eddie Kramer!

Congratulations to the now Lieutenant Commander Eddie Kramer!

He now becomes our favourite Lieutenant Commander of all time, replacing this guy...
Data spent 12 years as a Lieutenant, while Eddie has has done it in substantially less time. They both also share a love of Sherlock Holmes, and have had alternate realities. Data experienced his in a temporal rift, while LCDR Kramer had his in California. Brent Spiner was born in Texas, and LCDR Kramer was born in Oklahoma, right above. However Eddie does not have a cat, which is a strike against.

So, congratulations, Lieutenant Commander Kramer! Enjoy putting on that third pip to indicate your rank like they do on Star Trek, The Next Generation.

And now for a musical tribute to Lieutenant Commander Kramer from the Simpsons:

Thank you for your service to our country, and all the hardships you have endured being away from your family. We love you very much! Congratulations!