Current Events Archive 2006

The 'haps'

12/31/2006 - 1/1/2007 - New Years!

As per our tradition, we headed off to Tammy and John's to celebrate the turning of another year. If you look at the pictures you can get a glimpse of the way too much good food we had around, and can see that yes, the karaoke and pool table were the hit again this year. We had our regulars and added a few new couples to the mix this year, and even Janae and her friends hung out with us old folks to celebrate. Thanks again for hosts Kimpel. Next year... its our turn.

12/28/2006 - End of the year trip to the snow

Michael and Michele took off for a day trip to the tahoe snow, Michele loves the snow, Michael however spent much time in the Jeep looking out and saying "So, you ready to go yet?" and only hearing "Not yet Daddy!"

12/25/2006 - Christmas

We had a few days of Christmas, celebrated for a week, so it gets its own page. CHRISTMAS 2006

12/09/2006 - Important Mission

Time to head out on an important mission. Our 8 year tawny port is bottled at Toogood, the winemaker called and said to pick them up! Of course, our friends Tammy and John were along for the mission, its an important job you know! We also made a trip to the port festival at Sogno, one of our local favorites, and it did not dissappoint.


12/05/2006 - Christmas Present Hunt

To get the spirits up for Christmas, we did a Christmas treasure hunt for the girls. Kaylee especially loves treasure hunts, and asks for them more and more often. They started by having to find the first clues on the Christmas tree. Trees with sentences for Kaylee and ornaments with pictures for Michele. Then the hunt was on, they meandered around the house for about 20 minutes and finally found a present. Kaylee was bummed about actually finding the present, she said the search was the best part. Way to go Kaylee!!

12/02/2006 - Preparing for Christmas

We broke out the Christmas crafts, and the girls decorated and personalized a few ornaments. Then it was time for hot chocolate and to decorate the house and the tree. Kaylee got her first lesson on hot chocolate, we prepared her for the HOT part of hot chocolate before she got the mug and she did very well. What you cant see with the low light is the chocolate milk mustache that Kaylee wore for the remainder of the evening.

11/24/2006 - Thanksgiving

This year Thanksgiving was hosted at chez Willard. A big thanks to John and Kelli, and of course the little man (also known as Hayden). Quite the traditional thanksgiving complete with turkey, yams, potatoes, rolls and a new treat this year - Strawberry pretzel salad. Oh, dont say yuck until you've tried it, trust me. Note, the picture below of the one man and another in the mirror behind him is John and his dad. Kinda cool huh?

10/31/2006 - Halloween!

This year it was heading off to the Rocklin Trick or Treat Faire again. That place is getting a bit too popular, it was fun but crowded. Michele was "Stephanie" from Lazy Town, and Kaylee was a cheerleader (much to Candice's dismay.. again) After that we trucked over to Tammy and Johns where Janae kindly took the kids treating around the neighborhood. We all sat around the fire pit having a drink, handing out candy. It was a nice evening.

10/22/2006 - Halloween preparations
We enjoyed a nice sunny day, took the opportunity to gut out our pumpkins in the California sun, and had a little time to play. Later we headed indoors to carve the pumpkins, and make some spiced pumpkin seeds. We were successful in growing two of our own pumpkins this year, so our 'Jacks' didn't have to travel far. Michele made the happy face pumpkin, Kaylee made the larger pumpkin, carving it almost all by herself, and Michael made the appearances are deceiving pumpkin, as his you could only see at night. Check out the picture of the front porch, and final product below.

10/16/2006 - Making cookies

As always. Our girls can be found in the kitchen helping Candice make cookies. These happen to be Halloween sugar cookies, with extra extra extra sugar in Michele's case and extra frosting in Kaylee's. The funniest part is that Michele will still not eat the cookies, this makes three Halloweens in a row.

10/12/2006 - Twin Oaks Elementary Halloween Faire.

Tonight was a trip to the local elementary with our neighbors. We played some games, got some prizes, ran through the haunted house, and topped it off with getting Michele's fortune told. It is now foretold that Michele will do well in school. I think a prophecy to the scale of the fictional Harry Potter would be more enticing, but heck, we will take what we can get.

Sogno/Jodar and a trip to David's house 9/23/2006

Let's see.. combine the companies summer party with a trip to the local wineries and its fun in the making. David got a lesson in the fine art of making Smores with the sandwich press, and Tammy and Rita learned about their secret yearning to join a commune and develop alternative fuels to power the Grateful Dead tourbus.

9/19/2006 - The family goes bowling.

We took the girls bowling at the new alley down the street. Um, yes, Candice does suck at bowling.

8/17 through 8/25 - The great Seattle adventure.

Michael, Michele, Kaylee and Grandma Gerard (aka Cris) took off in the great white minivan for the adventure of the year. They drove up to Seattle Washington to see our friends and their new baby. They drove straight up, visited with the family, and then did the tourist thing on the ferry, the Olympic National Park, the space needle, monorail etc.. On the way home there were more parks to visit and interesting places to stop, including Crater Lake and an overnight stay in Klamath Falls.

8/5/ and 8/6/2006 - Our Anniversary trip.

We took off and went to the coast for a moonlight kayak trip. The trip took us up to Gualala, where did some beach exploring, then had BBQ dinner at the ocean, jumped in a kayak for an sunset and into the moonlight ride. We stayed the night at a killer little hotel, see the wave picture below for the view from our window. The next day we headed the back roads, jeep top down, to Sonoma. We stopped in Geyserville for some lunch at the smokehouse (recommended!) and tasted some wines and joined the local wine club at "Locals"

7/28//2006 - John Willard's 40th birthday.

We attended a surprise party at the Gathering Place in Loomis put together by Kelli and Kelly(2). There was quite a crowd there, and all of varying backgrounds. I would have to say that was the most unique and diverse group of people gathered that I have been part of. We drank some margaritas and ate some killer grub, then watched a slideshow quite expertly put together by Kelli, and then chicken danced until the sun went down. Thanks for turning 40 John!

7/4//2006 - Independence Day

We headed off to the block party around the corner. Many hours of swimming, eating and watching things blow up. How can it get better than that?

6/24 and 6/25/2006 - Pescadero, State HWY 1 and San Francisco Zoo

We packed up and drove to destinations south. No WAY we are sticking around for the 106 degree weekend. First stop the goat dairy Harley Farms, after a long scenic drive... behind bicycles, and more bicycles, and more bicycles (you get the idea). We toured the goat dairy, from the goat pens, to the milking barn, to the cheese making room. It was fun, and informative. The host let Michele get her hands in and make some cheese with edible flowers grown right on the premises. Their fresh goat cheese was awesome, and we took a bit for the road, found a bakery and munched on goat cheese and bread for the rest of our trip. We hit the beaches up HWY 1, did some back country exploring with a map that may have been a bit incorrect, paused to zoom through Santa Cruz, and then headed out to the San Francisco Zoo the next day. Michele did awesome as our little explorer in training, and only got a bit frustrated when we got caught in Infineon Raceway traffic on the 25th and had to pee with no available stops for a couple hours. Lesson learned: keep kids porta-potty in the explorers kit!

6/10 to 6/12/2006 - Michael's and Candice trip to Napa/Calistoga

This weekend we packed up, gift certificate in hand, and headed out to the Napa Valley. We took the scenic route and ended up at our Bed and Breakfast. Rustridge Ranch around noon. We were welcomed by both winery dogs, Tosca and Charlie. After a warm greeting from Susan, the proprietor, we popped back in the jeep for some touring of the wine country. We headed into town, and had a good lunch at Market and queried the locals about what wineries not to miss. One that we were advised to hit was Cake Bread, and as we drove up later in the day we were bummed that they do tasting and tours by appointment only. We bounced back in the jeep and meandered over to Mondavi, PlumpJack and ZD. A bottle of ZD happened to follow us back home. On getting back to the Rustridge Winery B&B, we checked out the stables and the vineyards, they headed inside for a private pairing of their wines with gourmet appetizers. It ended with two reds, a nice cabernet, and one that took the prize so to speak, the Racehorse Red. Paired with fresh (like from the garden outside the kitchen) berries and a nice blue cheese, it was a winner. A late evening drive after that, and some garlic fries and ice-cream at the historic Taylors Refresher ended the day. Day 2, after an awesome breakfast we headed out and did some hiking up to Coyote Peak (about 6 miles total) around the state parks, Bothe-Napa and Old Grist Mill. Then, to end the day we took a couples mud bath and massage at Golden Haven. We made it back to the room around 11pm and slept well. Day 3 was another great breakfast and we were on our way home.

5/13 to 5/15/2006 - Michael's bike trip to Red Rock Canyon

This year, Michael took off and headed to Las Vegas for a two day bike trek through the desert. He and Ken drove down to Los Vegas, stayed in the Mirage Hotel. The bike tour picked them up, and drove them to the desert trails, they spent two days on the trails, enjoying the scenery, and the record hot temperatures on that particular weekend. Who would have guessed it would be so hot, after a month of extended winter temperatures.

5/1/2006 -On the home front (Candice's Birthday)

While Candice was away in Seattle. Michael was playing single Dad, as well as totally revamping the master bedroom. He painted, arranged, and with the help of our friends John and Tammy, put up crown molding. He also got new bedding, and decorations for the walls. What an AWESOME birthday present for Candice. (now.. how to top that? Feel free to email in with suggestions..anyone..anyone??)

4/17 To 4/28/2006 - Trip to Seattle Washington

Candice took off and headed up to Seattle to be with our friends Cindy and Mark. They were expecting their first born to make her grand appearance around the 20th, and didn't mind having an extra hand around to help. Well, Candice got there, had dinner and shortly thereafter Cindy's contractions started. After a what seemed like a very brief (or hellatiously long according to the laboring mom) time, Amelie Michele Hanna was born on 4/18/06 shortly after 1PM. For all the details, check our their site

4/16/2006 - Easter Weekend.

We headed over to John and Kelli's for brunch this year. We talked and lounged and ate ourselves silly of ham and potato casserole, muffins and goodies. Michele and Hayden got to play a bit, but as he's not quite walking yet, Michele got to push him around in his walker and play bumper car. Such fun.

4/10/2006 - Aaarrrrr Matey, it's a Pirate Treasure Hunt!

Okay, for all you folks out there, yes we did actually have a pirate treasure hunt at home. The girls started by looking on the "beach", which was the sandbox for part of a treasure map I thought I noticed a pirate dropped there. They went all throughout the house, as the parts of the map suggested, either finding more treasure (gold bars filled with chocolate) or more pieces of a map. When they got the whole map together, the found the Pirates booty (a pile of crafts and toys). Both girls had a blast, and of course want to do it daily now. Kaylee said she knew it was Candice that drew the map, but she said it was still really fun and wants to do it again.. and again.. .and again.

4/8/2006 -Dove

The signs of Spring even in this rain soaked weather. We have a dove couple that has decided our bedroom deck, and more specifically, our cactus plants are the perfect place to nest.

4/1 and 4/2/2006 -El Dorado Passport weekend.

Once again, the gang piled on the car and headed up to a rental home we got for the weekend this year. The gals headed up after work on Friday and made some killer grub. The guys got stuck in the heavy rainstorm, and traffic, and the normal pit stop for those who get car sick.. The house was on the river, and while a bit eclectic, we decided that the house rental was the way to go. The new couple this year, Steph and Tom met up with us at the winery on Saturday morning. Day one ended with dinner at a local restaurant. Day two, well, I cant comment much on the happenings after the Port tasting at Toogood, which was good enough to sample over and over... and buy a case... and sample some more. All the rest of the day kind of blurred together, but Michael assures me that I was having a great time being very chatty.

3/17/2006 -Happy St Patrick's Day.

 After gathering with friends for pizza, we decided to bring the gang back to our place for celebrations. We at some awesome Irish cake that Tammy made, and played Dance Dance Revolution. This was also the evening that created the port wine stain in the middle of the kitchen lights. Look for it next time you are over.

Life is a party!


3/12/06 - San Francisco Sourdough

We have a new pet in the house. Its an official San Francisco sourdough mother sponge. We have to make sure she keeps warm and safe and fed, but in the end she rewards us with the warm, chewy, crusty loaves of yummy goodness.

2/17/2006 -Baby Hanna Update.

We found out that baby Hanna (of the Cindy and Mark variety) is going to be a girl. We expect to see her mid to late April. For all the details, check out

2/12 /2006 - A week of mid 70s weather - Kids and Smores.

Since we had a streak of warm weather, the neighborhood kids have gathered at our house. The two twin girls Makenna and Kylie are the most frequent visitors, and have become good friends with both Michele and Kaylee. They are courtieous girls, and always help clean up before they go. They turned 5 in December and are in Kindergarten this year. The neighborhood kids enjoy our indoor play area, sand pit, and air hockey table. I think we are well on our way to being "THE" house. The warm streak has also seen us firing up the pit, and making some smores, hanging outside and chatting in the clear warm nights.