Friday, December 16, 2011

part 3 of my dad

I am thankful that I am nothing like him. Although he passed down his horrible genes to me, that is all that I carry from him. It's a burden lifted to think that he is no longer suffering or making anybody else suffer because of him. There is peace in my heart and a thankfulness that a plan was laid out for my life. I have had so much blessings poured upon me. So many friends who will pray for me, cry with me, and help me to grow to become a better person. I am thankful that I don't have history repeating itself for my children. They are truly loved by their father and will never know the pain and suffering I endured living without a wise and righteous dad.
Thursday, December 15, 2011

part 2 of my dad

When my sister called the other day to tell me of the news about my dad's death, I felt no emotions. I know it must have been a shock to my sister, but I don't have the connections that perhaps she might have had with him. Afterwards when I was telling John about it, it finally hit me. I was saddened, but not necessarily for my "dad". I didn't feel a loss. It's just always sad when a life is lost. It makes you think about their life and how much you either want to emulate it or not.

As I pondered about his death throughout the day, I am thankful that he is no longer suffering. He has had to have his leg amputated in the last few years due to his illness. His chances of providing for himself was nil. He relied on the kindness of relatives, but he never changed his wicked ways. Even in his misery, he was still a jerk. A few months back, my mom got a call from one of her relatives complaining about my dad. He had taken a taxi to her house, uninvited, and upon getting there, told her that she needed to pay for the taxi ride. He did this not once, but twice! This is very much his typical mode of operation. Needless to say he was not loved by many people.

One thing that I am grateful to him for was procreating with my mom. Without that I wouldn't be here. If I wasn't here, I wouldn't have met my wonderful husband and have my wonderful kids. It took me a long time to release my guilt about not supporting him financially because he is my "dad". I came to realize that I couldn't fix him and sending him a monthly stipend wouldn't fix him.

To be continued....
Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Resuming blogging

I haven't written on here for the longest time because life has gotten quite busy....Today I got news that my "dad" past away. I use quotations because although he is my dad, I have never known him to be that. When I was born in Thailand, (as we were migrating from Cambodia to US) my dad decided that he didn't want to come along the journey to the US. He felt that there was not going to be an opportunity for him here like he would if he would go back to Cambodia. So he left our family. My mom became a single parent, to 2 older children from a previous marriage, my sister 4 years older than I, and me being a newborn only 20 days old. That's a number my mom will never forget or forgive about.

So some how, some way we found our way here to the US. I was 4 years old. We never heard from or about my dad for many years afterwards. My earliest memory of him contacting us was when I was in the 4th grade. He must have gotten our address from one of my mom's relatives and would send us letters asking for money. Whenever I would hear about him, it would make me so mad. Being younger I didn't know why and couldn't understand my feelings. My mom never forced the subject onto me and I was thankful for it.

This occurrs every so often throughout the years. As I got older, I never gave him any of my thoughts. He was like someone who was an acquaintance. Over time, his health deteriorated. Since he is in a 3rd world country, he doesn't have an official diagnosis. It's just a sad sad life. He was living with the choices that he made. 

To be continued...
Sunday, September 11, 2011

My 9/11

When this happened 10 years ago, I was working for one of our local banks and John and I had only been married about 2 months. I went to work as usual and people were acting really strange. Really quiet, slow moving and the complete opposite of the chatterbox group of people that we were. Finally getting frustrated I asked what the deal was. Then I felt like an idiot. A rush of emotions came flooding by. I remember some lady saying something like the end of the world was coming and that was scary enough for me. I was a fairly new believer at this point in my life and I was only 20. I called John at home who was still sleeping because he had to work a late shift the night before. He answers the phone and I am trying to tell him what happened, but all that came out were confusion and tears. Finally I asked him to pray for all of us. After I got off the phone and the day progressed, it was like we were all zombies. Once it was speculated that it was a terrorist act, a customer was saying that we are probably going to go to war. That was awful. The next flood of emotions was, "please no. I have only been married for a little while and if we go to war my husband would be drafted and since we were young he would be one of the first ones to go. I didn't want to be alone without my husband."

That was all that I remember from that day. I couldn't watch the news of the images of the jets crashing into the building because my heart could not handle it. I didn't want to think of all the wives and families who were losing a loved one.

Fast forward to now and I can finally handle watching the documentaries on the History Channel. Now I can see the strength of many that came to help. The strength of the many moms out there who are raising their children without their fathers. It is so powerful. I only wish I had an ounce of their courage.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Our Prolific Grape Plant

I am so excited about our grapes! We've had these guys for 3 years now and they have been giving us grapes abundantly for 2. I have to say that I have not done too much with this plant. It just wants to grow and give us yummy fruit. I am very okay with that!

We have nibblers in the name of Soph and Magnus that likes to see if they are sweeten yet.

Peek a boo, I see you delicious-ness!
Sunday, August 28, 2011

Magnus Without Training Wheels

It has taken John a few years to teach Magnus how to ride on his own, but he has now! Such an exciting feat for growing boy! 

And here comes Soph chasing after her brother. She was adamant that she needed to have a helmet on too, even though she is only running around.
Safety comes first in the Grandberg household!
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Our Tooth Fairy

So this is what happens when you start a trend of giving out toys for a tooth rather than money, like the good ol' days!

It reads:

Dear Magnus, Thank you very much for leaving your tooth for me. It looks like a good one! I apologize that I don't have a toy for you yet. To be honest, I fell down and injured one of my wings he other day. Since I am the only tooth fairy in Santa Rosa, I have lots of kids to visit each night, and I just haven't been able to keep up. I even had to ask the Rohnert Park tooth fairy to help me out for a few days! I'm getting better now, but I still haven't had enough time for toy shopping.

 Please accept this coupon, which is good for one toy. Give it to your parents and they will know what to do with it. My records show that you still have not used the last coupon I gave you, so I actually owe you two toys. I'll tell your parents and they will take care of it for me.

Love, The Tooth Fairy

PS: Remember to always brush and floss your teeth!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Magnus lost a 2nd tooth!

What a 10mins of craziness it was when that happened! I was making a bechamel sauce (a delicate process of cooking flour with butter). Which is not something you should walk away from.

Magnus says, "moom, I voost my thooth". I look over from the kitchen and sure enough he's got blood dripping from his mouth. Moment of panic, do I attend to Magnus or the sauce because it is going to burn if I leave. Common sense your son!!!!

So while I was helping him rinse out his mouth and apply pressure to his gums to stop the bleeding this is what my other lovely did to my room.

It didn't stop there. She continued a path of destruction into the "toy living room". All because she was free to roam for 10 mins.

Ugh! We love us some Soph.
Thursday, August 18, 2011

Our 10 Years Of Hard Work

It's actually longer than that if you count the four years we were together before we got married! I say hard work because that is exactly how it has been. If we didn't put in the work then we wouldn't have been able to see this kind of results!!!

I am so thankful that this was the road that was chosen for us. I am so in love with this man more than ever before! He is an awesomely amazing compassionate person that totally gets where I am coming from. He laughs at my silly jokes and goes along with my silly antics, yet stops me from becoming the fool. He is a great provider and most of all he loves the Lord with all of his heart.

We celebrated the day by taking the kids out to brunch. Magnus was so honored that he was included in our plans. It was so awesome to see him excited for our love. I think including the kids as a part of our anniversary celebration is a keeper! Later in the day John and I had a little date time and went out to the beach. We took pictures 

and then here are the out takes.


I am so thankful that we can laugh together! I hope that many more laughs will accompany the many more years together. We ended the night by picking up dinner from Panda Express. Going to the beach and eating at Panda Express was how John and I lived the majority of our high school years together. Perfect ending to a perfect day.
Monday, August 15, 2011

My 30

For my birthday, we had a 2 day celebration thing going on. (maybe it was to make up for someone forgetting their wife's birthday last year, but we won't mention any names around here)! Anyways, we spent some time at the beach for a few minutes before Magnus got sand in his eyes and we decided to cut that trip short. So we picked up some clam chowder from the Tides marketplace, played some video games and drove back home. Along the way home, I kept on seeing signs for Gravenstein apples. They are one of my favorites and they are in season now! We decided to make a stop at Mike's Fruit Stand over by our house and it was a very good decision!
Magnus's birthday card for me! He said he worked on this for 3 days because he wanted to keep it a secret from me!

There's me and him playing, some trees, some birds flying and Soph hiding behind one of the trees

The fruit stand had picnic benches there and this was the backdrop. How could we resist a place to sit and sample our goods we purchased!

Magnus loves going to this fruit stand, just for the candy itself! Maybe we should start calling it the candy stand instead?

Soph eating one of the yummy candies we bought there. She can spot candy a mile away!

The next day we went to SF to get some Banh Mi without the kids because my mom offerred to babysit. What a great 30th birthday celebration I had, doing all the things that I love with the people I love the most!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

How Magnus is helping

A couple of days after I got hurt and John had to go back to work, Magnus stepped up the to be the caregiver to me. I was really concerned about how lunch would go since I couldn't stand or walk around too much. So my baby decided that he and his sister were going to have a frozen pizza for lunch. Something that he can proudly make all by himself! Then this happens..... 

The pizza slid off the tray and landed right on the floor. I think it crushed him just a little bit. So I told him that it was ok, I cleaned it up and decided to make another one for them. I was in pain afterwards, but better me physically than Magnus emotionally. 

Pizza covered faces and a little pen mark too! 
Friday, July 29, 2011

How I hurt myself

Well it's been a little more then 2 weeks since I fell down the porch at my friend's house. My foot is healing although slowly. Here's how it went down (hahaha, pun intended)!

John and I were leaving their house so we could have a little date night because the kids were with their grandparents. My intentions were to say goodbye to the people outside and grab a plant that was given to me. I remember seeing an inflatable monkey on the ground on the right side of me, stepped down, and then this realization that I was falling and I couldn't do anything to stop it. I may have stepped on the monkey, I do not remember. I landed face down and my foot was flexed the wrong way and it was hurting. Although I felt okay. Since we were leaving anyways, we left for the remainder of our date night. But by the time I had walked to the car, it had already swollen up. Date night became sit on the couch icing my foot night.

The next day was when the real pain kicked in. My foot was swollen. I couldn't put any weight on so a trek to the bathroom was more than that. I thought that perhaps I could crawl. Wrong! I didn't know that I had injured my knees too.

The following day a friend brought over a pair of crutches to help me get around the house. Sounds great, right? Wrong! I ended up with sore underarms and pair that with the foot and knees. It was an emotionally low day.

The next day John had to go to work. At that point the swelling had gone down a little bit and I could walk holding onto the walls. I tried to put on a pair of flip flops and my foot wouldn't go in it! 

Thankfully John was off the next day. My sister offerred me a walking shoe that people with a foot cast wears. We picked it up from her house and since my sister was at work at this point, it took me a while to figure out how to use it, but it is a God send!!!! I am wrapping my foot with an ace bandage and then wearing the "special" shoe. I can get around! Yippee!!! 

I have finally been able to get out of the house and do some grocery shopping. We had no fruits or vegetables for a week! When I did feel better, I made a salad for dinner one night and Magnus said that that was the best salad he's ever eaten! Poor malnurious family.   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Soph is 2

I know this is a few days late, but I just couldn't bring myself up to write about Soph. I just couldn't fake it and pretend that I liked her the last few days. All I can say is the girl is 2 and she is exercising her right to be terrible! It dawned on me today that perhaps the reason she is so grumpy is because she doesn't get enough sleep. I'll put her to nap like always and it'll stay quiet for a half and hour and then she is making silly noises and conversations in her crib, in her room, all by her herself. So something new for us to figure out!

Some things about Soph:

* She is learning to speak and is repeating all that she hears.
* Is going through a rebellious stage
* Is choosing the things that she wears
* Sits on the potty seat fully clothed and blows raspberries because that's the noise people make when they go potty
* Have a love/hate relationship towards her brother
* Kisses anyone and anything that has a ow-wie
* Loves fruit snacks and all sorts of junk food
* Can say "pasta" really well, but please is "peaz"
* Loves to cuddle
* And many more fun things!

Okay I actually love her again after writing this and thinking about her! Happy Birthday Soph! We heart you so much!!!!
Sunday, July 24, 2011

Out of Context

One day when I was feeling low from my immobility due to my foot injury, I happened to glance at the end table and saw this note. 

It says, "morning very early, must just sniff underwear, not pretty"

I had to do a double take on it because it was so funny, so wrong, but so funny. I laughed and laughed. Like the kind where you are going to hyperventilate because no air is coming through. There was hand fanning, thigh slapping, and tears rolling! I tried to read it a couple of times more and it just made it worse. I knew that it was in John's writing so I was thinking, was that something he had written himself as a reminder or was it for his son. Either way it was priceless!

After my cackle died down and I finally got some air, I realized that that was probably a mad lib that John was doing with Magnus. Then it made it sweet. No? Ok.

So I asked John later what it was and he said they were studying the planets. The book they had suggested that they come up with their own words to identify the first letter of each planet! Why my boys chose those words I do not know. But it certainly made my day!!!
Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Soph Shoe Fetish

Soph has a habit of taking my shoes from my shoe rack and scattering them around the house. It's mostly heels. She doesn't go for flip flops. I wonder why?

Contemplating her choices...

Made a decision...Brother made off with the other heels before I could get a picture of him. When I say made off, I meant he wore them. Maybe Soph isn't the only one with a shoe thing?

Finally ready to conquer a night on the town!

Nothing says a good night out like some sweatpants and a Tshirt with HOT heels!
Friday, July 15, 2011

The Best BBQ Chicken Ever!

Look, how delicious is that???

I am a BBQ junkie. We BBQ all the time. Even when it rains. It only makes sense that we love going to the fair to get some great BBQ. Well, no more, thanks to this great recipe! I snubbed buying food while we were at the fair last week because I knew that this would be better! Makes my mouth water just talking about it....

Here's the original recipe and here's my lazy way of doing it.

This is where I differ from the recipe. I don't use beer to cook it because I am cheap that way. Because of that, I'll use whatever chicken parts I have. I personally love the leg quarters. You can just "set it and forget it" (big informercial saying from the 90's) for about 2 hours. This is one of those things where you can't really get wrong with the time because the longer you cook it the more tender it gets. I mean YUM-MI-NESS

Of course, don't actually forget about it!

I hope you give this a try because it will knock your socks off! Thanks to my friend Jenna who made this for dinner one night.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011

You Know You're Loved

When this happens!  
Oh wait, you're tired? No way, you've gotta play with us!

Or we'll play with you!

Sister's turn! Ah, the things she learns from her brother.

Maybe this will do the job!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Our 4th

 We had a great time celebrating our freedom! I am so thankful for where we live, that I am not persecuted for being a believer of Jesus or homeschooling my children. With that said, I am also very thankful for my crazy family. The kids played, we had yummy food, and we got to do FIREWORKS!!!! Something that was taken away from our town a few years back. I'm thankful they are still allowed where my mom lives, although this might be the last year. Just as we were celebrating, there was an apartment building on fire due to illegal fireworks. Sad!
Having fun!

Lots of giggles!

Soph stealing her cousin's lollipop!

Fireworks by my husband! It was so awesome seeing him play with fire! When we were dating and fireworks were still allowed in our town, my wonderful then-boyfriend would spend a huge chunk of $ and go crazy with the fireworks. It brought back a lot of memorize!

One of the illegal ones that were shot up in the air. Beautiful though!

Every since Magnus has been allowed to have sparklers, he goes a little crazy with it. I don't know how he manages to build a fire, but he does. 

Crazy playing with fire. Just like his dad. The apple does not fall far from the tree! 
Sunday, July 3, 2011

Keeping Our Cool

This is what we have been doing while the sun has been warming us up! I don't like heat and I don't think my children does either. We get C.R.A.N.K.Y. I think this helped though!

 If I would have sprayed Magnus like this when he was younger, he would have cried to no end. As you can see Soph is so different!

 He is better about it as he has gotten older, but it is all on his terms. We have a saying in our family, if you play don't cry, if you cry don't play. There has been numerous times that I have had to repeat that to him. He's learning...

                               Love that lonesome missing tooth!        

I love how saturated they both are. I think mission is accomplished!
Thursday, June 30, 2011

We Heart Deviled Eggs

Well, at least Magnus and I do! John loathes it! The smell gets to him and it makes him not kiss me if I eat it. Sad, because he is missing out...on both!!!!

Anyways since school is out and we have more time to do fun stuff, we made this one afternoon while Soph was napping. I love it when she naps! Magnus was a great helper and I love teaching him how to cook. One thing I always ask him is, what's an important part of cooking. He usually says something like clean hands, but since he has been cooking with me more often, he knows what the correct answer to that is now...clean as you go! I hope his future wife will thank me later for this! 

Cooking has been a huge part of my childhood whether I liked it or not! My mom would always make my sister and I help with meals and that was not something that a "cool" teenager like me wanted to do. One memory that I have is whenever my mom needed onions for something, my sister would make me do it. You know how that goes when you are chopping onions! Talk about uncontrollable constant running down the face alligator size tears! I've chopped so many onions that they no longer have that effect on me! A curse that became a blessing.
One day as adults, we were cooking together and my mom needed onions. Since I was busy with something else my sister had to do it. Well, guess who was crying then! In your face Sis-ta! (With love)
I am so thankful that that was a part of my childhood and I hope that it becomes a part of Magnus's and Soph's childhood memories too!   
Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Bear has been around since before Magnus was born. Magnus loves Bear. When he was an infant, Bear would go with him everywhere. As parents we knew that one day we would accidentally lose Bear or forget him somewhere. So we came up with this great plan to buy more of him, just in case. One day we hid Bear from Magnus because we wanted him to play with the other ones so they would get the same amount of wear and tear. Didn't work out so well. Even though they looked exactly the same as bear, he didn't buy it. We decided to put all the bears together and see if he could tell which one was the real Bear. He chose Bear each and everytime. I guess it's like when a mother knows her child! Everywhere we went before we'd leave we had to do a checklist to make sure that Bear would be coming home with us. Fast forward to this day and this is what Bear looks like.  

He no longer has a smile, his stuffing is gone, the plushness of his face is no longer there, and he has a hole in his neck. Everytime we wash him, some of the beads inside of his legs comes out. 

I am not a sentimental person, but today I looked at Bear and I couldn't help, but tear up. He has been such a special thing in my son's life and one day we will have to retire him. I don't know how Magnus will handle it. I don't know how I would handle it. It will mark the beginning of a new phase of Magnus' life. I don't know if I am ready for him to grow up yet.   
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Make your own-Taco Seasoning

We eat a lot of tacos at this house. A.Lot. So I usually buy McCormick's taco seasoning in the big jug from Costco. Well we were all out of it and it was taco time. So I did a quick online seach for taco seasonings and found this recipe. I'm sorry I don't remember where it came from, either a blog or ehow or something like that.

This is by far better than the "big jug". I think I'll be making this from now on! On the plus side, it has no extra additives or what-nots that the "big jug" has.


1 TBS chili powder
1/4 tsp of garlic powder, onion powder, oregano
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
(I used less pepper because I wasn't sure how spicy it was going to be)

Mix it all up and throw it into your meat, just as if you had purchased a McCormick taco seasoning mix! Yummy! 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My neice's HS graduation!

My niece! Boy has she grown up! Doesn't she look lovely!!! It hasn't always been the case....long ago she had the most nappiest head of hair. It was frustrate me to my wits end to comb out the rat's nest she called hair. I don't know what the problem was, but it was awful. I think it kinda hindered our relationship a little bit. But now look at her! Look at her hair! We have a much better relationship now! Maybe it's because I don't have to comb her hair anymore????? Anyways, I am so proud of her. She has worked hard despite some of the hardships that life handed her and she truly deserves the best that the future has for her.

                       Ugh! I love embraces like that! So sweet!

Have you ever noticed that when there are more than one camera, no one looks at the same camera? How does celebrities do it? We need their tips!

My two beautiful nieces! I don't know how I would be able to raise my two kiddos without the help of these two wonderful young ladies!

I love seeing the joy in their faces!

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