Current Events Archive 2007

The 'haps'

Christmas 2007

This year Christmas started the Sunday before, when we opened our "family" present (the Wii game console) and had a great Sunday of family gaming fun. From there, the presents then just kept coming, with dinner at Grandparents Gerard on Christmas eve, and presents, oh then brunch Christmas day. The girls were completely spoiled again this year, with heaping mounds of presents. A big shout out thank you to our friends and family. Grandma Nancy and Papa Fred scored with a heaping pile of new sing along CDs for the girls, maybe now we can get a new serenade while Michele is the bathroom. (yes folks, she does sing in the tub!) Grandma Marsha sent some too cute little stuffed animals, which also includes an online world to interact and care for them... we found that those are VERY popular as we, and everyone else in the US, were logging onto their servers Christmas day. Then another spoiler is our own Big Michele (who is now known as "Amelie's Grandma") for the fun toys for the girls, they both had to rip them out of the packages first thing, and we had a Christmas evening of Harry Potter Scene-It, in which Candice won by only one question over Kaylee! Kaylee is pretty darned sharp on the Potter trivia! Next stop.. some waffles on the new George Forman grill tomorrow morning!


December 16th - Gingerbread houses!

As per our tradition, the gingerbread houses popped up again in good fashion. This year it was hosted at the family Kimpels, for some team effort building crews. Kaylee even got to join the activity on her Moms normal time, for some sugar filled fun. Kaylee proudly took her creation back to share with her Mom and Kevin, and reported giggling all the way that Kevin's favorite part was the gumdrop bushes. Much to Michele's chagrin, Michael's favorite part was the spree roof tiles, so neither creation was left in tact. Of course, that is part of the fun, eating it when you are done!

December 8 & 9 - Over 30 weekend

Beverly Hills and Six Flags hosted us for a weekend of no-kids fun. We stayed and walked around Beverly Hills, had a killer dinner at Enoteca Drago and then headed to Six Flags for the day. THIS is the time to go to Six Flags, no lines and cool weather. We will be doing this one again.

December 6- Mannheim Steamroller

We gathered the gang and headed out to see Manheim at Arco arena, that was a blast! Grandparents Gerard know the right way to get into the Christmas spirit, what a cool concert.

Nov - Thanksgiving 2007

This year, John and Kelli hosted Thanksgiving for a small group of the family. We had the traditional meal, and were pleased that Bryan (little brother to Cris Gerard, and big brother to Kelli Willard) came to join us. He has missed several family gatherings and we were all happy to see his smiling face. Hayden and Michele had a wonderful time together, they played well together and are going to be good friends growing up.

October 30th 31st - Halloween 2007

Getting ready for Halloween, we carved pumpkins and got our costumes ready. Michele refused to stick her hand in her pumpkin and remove its guts, but had to take one spoonful out before we helped her. After that, she found out that she liked the carving part and both she and Kaylee carved most of their pumpkins themselves Kaylee dressed as a wizard bright and early Halloween morning, and Candice went off to work in the scariest thing she could thing of... A Catholic Nun. Michele went to school as Mini Mouse, and we missed the picture on that one. Kaylee was with her mom this year, and Michele decided that she had enough party with the party at her school and wanted to stay home and give out candy to the other trick or treaters. We started by answering the front door with grandparents Gerard over for dinner, and after dinner we moved outside and sat in the driveway awaiting the ghosts and ghouls.. we even had a spooky soundtrack playing in the attic to. eeeeriee...

October 21 to 28th - Grandparents Coleman Visit

Nancy and Fred came out to visit us and spend some time in Tahoe as well. They got to play go-fish, and "swords" with the girls. Michele had a blast chasing Fred around. We hit some of the local spots for historical halloween fun including the Governors' mansion where we had our tarot cards read.

September 23rd - 2007 Draft Horse Classic

We headed out in the rain for the Draft Horse Classic in Grass Valley with Grandparents Gerard. We had a good time, despite the wet weather. The crowds were small, the coffee and cacao was hot, and the funnel cakes and cinnamon rolls tasted super in the chilly weather. With the crowds being smaller, we got to watch a lumberjack contest, and even see a few female lumberjacks compete which was fun for both girls. They got to take home a "wood pie" which was a piece of the log that was cut during the contest. We squeezed in a wet but nice local wine tasting session there at the fair as well, had some good wine pairings... who knew merlot would go with apple pie.... In the last event of the evening, the draft horse show, Michele didn't make it through and fell asleep in the car waiting for the others.


September 1st and 2nd

We fueled up the jeep, tossed on a tank top, rolled down the windows and headed out on the highway in search of bread, cheese and beer. Funny thing.. we found all of it. We hit two cheese factories, one that we had been to before Rouge et Noir and also the new on to the list Cowgirl Creamery . For bread, we hit the Boudin sourdough factory in San Francisco, and then also an out of the way bakery called the Wild Flour Bakery. They have a garden outside there shop where we stopped to eat some of their yummy bread. We also hit the San Francisco Brewing Company for a few cold handcrafted beers, and walked through the city at night looking for vampires or the like hanging out in the bell towers of the old churches there before retiring to a very cool hotel suite for the evening. On the way home.. it was warm.. really warm.. so we stopped to take a dip. (Okay, Michael stopped to take a dip and I took pictures)

August 28th - Welcome Kendall Willard

We welcomed Kendall Lorraine Willard into the family, and we promised Mom (Kelli) that we wouldn't post any pictures of the post deliver mom on the web. Kendall rounds out the picture perfect family of the family of four, and was welcomed heartily by her older brother Hayden. Kendall was peaceful when we went and visited the day after her birth.... until Michael happened to mention to her that she looked "just like a Willard" and she started crying (picture below).

July 21st to August 6th - Summer trip to the Sequoias & Seattle

We packed up the gang (including Sparky) and headed to the Sequoias for a week of camping, hiking and general outdoor fun. We had a cabin with the essentials, made smores, swam in a local lake, hiked about 10 miles throughout the trip and found THE BEST swimming hole/creek yet. It was a blast, no telephones, no computers- just the family and mother nature, then Michael and the girls . Check out all the details HERE-ALL OUR 2007 SUMMER VACATION PICTURES.

July 12th to 14th - HARRY POTTER PREMIER

Cindy and Amelie hopped on a plane with the intent to watch the premier of Harry Potter, Order of the Phoenix. However we had a mismatch on the date, and we got to see it as a group on Friday the 13th. Amelie and Michele stayed with John and Tammy Kimpel, and Kaylee, Cindy, Michael & Candice headed out to see the movie. Candice did get to see the movie at 12:01 the first showing, but she was the only one brave enough to face the midnight showing mid week. It was a good movie, we had a nice but short visit and after a bit of a burp at the airport, Cindy and Amelie made it home safe and on time. We did get one outing to the local water park, which Amelie enjoyed thoroughly.

July 5th to 8th - Happy Fathers day Michael

Candice and the girls thought that Michael may enjoy a backpacking trip where he didnt have to worry about anyone else but himself for a few days. So, off he packed to Ozette region of Washington for a few days of rest?? and relaxation?? , Okay maybe not rest since he was hiking in the sand, but how about some well deserved "Michael time".

June 25th - Happy 6th birthday Kaylee !

We headed over to family Kimpel's for a small pool party get together with a couple friends. Kaylee, Mackenna, Janae and Michele played in the pool then we ate cake that Candice made. Yes, they are frog shaped ice cream sandwiches.

June 16th (14th) -Happy 2nd birthday our little Hayden !

Our cousin Hayden celebrated his 2nd birthday with his proud parents and friends and family. His little sister is on our way, check out the updates late August.

June 9th (14th)-Kaylee Graduates from Kindergarten

Michael attended Kaylee's kindergarten graduation at Creative Frontiers. She is now officially in grade school. More details on Kaylees pages.

May 26-27th -South Lake Tahoe/Mono Lake, Bishop "Mule Days" and Yosemite !

Well, what can you say? Its a 3 day weekend and we like to get out and about. Starting off with Michele being picked up Friday morning by Grandparents Gerard as they headed off for the Mule Days festivities in Bishop CA. Come Saturday, we loaded up the jeep and headed off for destination Apple Hill (yes, to pick up wine at Jodar) then off to South Lake Tahoe, to check out a cool little boutique wine shop. What? Yes, it WAS indeed to pick up more wine. Then it was a quick stop at a stream to cool off the drinks, then down past Mono Lake and into Bishop. We stayed the night in Bishop, checked out the nights Mule Rodeo, ate fair food, took in the craft booths, and meandered through the livestock. Michele almost has her grandparents talked into not only a pony, but also a mule, just in case. We will see when she hits 2nd grade how many beasts of burden she can talk Grandpa into buying. Sunday we headed home, and well, through Yosemite for some picnic on our favorite breads, meats and cheeses with the wondrous backdrop of the nature of Yosemite, we took time for some exploring and playing in the water cascades, eating snow-cones (real snow), and basking in the sun (aka napping). Yes, all at the same time.

May 20th-Trip to Calaveras Frog Jumping!

We packed up the family and headed to the Calaveras County Fair, the home of the famous frog jumping contest. Kaylee got to jump a frog, Michele wasn't so interested in toting the slimy squirmy creature onto the jumping pad.

After the frog jumping, we headed out to the Calaveras Big Trees park, did a little hiking (Kaylee and Michael), napping (Michele and Candice). Then we gathered for a family picnic and played in the river and rocks and even in a small kid-friendly waterfall area.

May 4th to May 7th - DISNEYLAND 2007

All the details can be found here: DISNEY FAMILY VACATION

April 07 - EASTER

This year we packed up our picnic supplies and headed over to Grandma-Grandmas in Granite Bay. We had a fun time chasing down Easter Eggs through the park like setting of Grandma-Grandmas and then also tried our hand at fishing. We topped it off with a traditional picnic fair of burgers, dogs and chips and salads, and of course plenty of chocolate. Kaylee amazed us all by catching a fish on her first fishing trip. She is quite the natural at both casting a line and hooking a fish, can you get a scholarship for that?? If so, she is set.

03/30/07 to 4/1/07 - El Dorado Wine Passport Weekend #4

This weekend marks the fourth "passport weekend" for our group. We took off a bit early out of work on Friday, as the guys came and retrieved us in Auburn. We then took what Tammy so kindly labeled "the puke-fest" two hour drive to the vacation home in Grizzly Flat (check the link for details) It was a long windy never-ending road to nowhere in particular, but we were rewarded with a nice updated cabin with all the comforts of home, as well as a very nice forest surrounding. We arrived on Friday night, made some kick-ass Cajun inspired pasta thanks to John, and had some dark chocolate raspberry frosted brownies with some Toogood tawny port of course. Saturday we started our adventure at Gold Hill in Coloma, then hit the Fairplay wineries, ending at one we had never hit before this year, Mt Aukum winery. Sunday the start was a Busby, and we had a leisurely day winding through the wineries of Apple Hill, ending at Sogno. We picked up some wines at Narrowgate, Perry Creek, Jodar and Sogno this year. Oh, and if anyone cares for chocolate port... check out Narrowgate, none of us had ever seen or tasted its like. There are a couple chocolate ports in the cellar now awaiting the perfect time to make their entrance.

03/3/07 - In this weather, who can resist the Jeep trail?

We took off Saturday morning and headed, well we thought, to Tahoe. After making a go at some snowed in roads without snow removal, we decided to hit someplace a little warmer. We headed to Volcanoville and hit some forest trails. What a nice day to be out and about in the jeep.

2/24/07 - Happy 40th Brenda

An hour at the skating rink for a little run down memory lane for Michaels cousin Brenda. The girls were good on the skates for about one round, then they were done. Candice got a little jiggy with it and ended up with a wheel shaped bruise and gooseegg on her right leg after an amazing 360, one handed mid air twirl. (otherwise known as a crash and burn)

2/24/07 - Life is Toogood!

Candice accepts a part time job offer at Toogood Winery. Starting on 3/17, you will see the Candice smiling face one weekend day a week (or 3 to 4 times a month) starting on St Patties. Be sure to stop on by and check out the amazing bottled wines, and the even better barrel futures. Check it out... the tasting room is in a cave. All day, Candice in the wine cave, could there be a more natural fit?

2/20/07 - Mardi Gras!

For all of you that celebrate the season, you would be proud of the King cake that rolled out of this household this year. Along with some award winning (MLHC potluck) Gumbo from chez Gerard-Olberding, it was all in all a great Fat Tuesday.

2/13/07 - Time to make Valentines

Drag out all the "craps" as Michele calls them. Time to make Valentines for the family. It only took about 3 hours to clean up all the glue and glitter. Kaylee and Michele got to go get ready for bed, while Candice cleaned up. However Candice was rewarded with Kaylee's "Candice, you are just always the nicest person". Yeah, keep sucking up, it works! The cool custom multi layered wolf print valentines day card for Candice wasn't bad either. Michael got a heart shaped key ring, everyone ask him where it is next time you see him holding keys.

1/28/07 - Homeward Bound, bye bye Vegas

Loadem up! We hit the road after sleeping in a bit. The only stops on the way home were the Alien Jerky store, and then the Early Man site. At the Early Man site we took a hike up to the dig and got some information as to the controversial nature of the finds.

1/26 & 1/27/07 - Lost Wages

When we rolled in about 10pm we caught up with the gang. Michaels family and some extended family were there to relax, enjoy and celebrate Josh's 21st birthday. We found them and killed a few hours until midnight when Josh turned 21. We walked the strip and because of Candice's bad idea of wearing high heels that evening, turned in early (if 1am can be considered early in anyone's book) Josh stayed true to a 21st birthday in Vegas and drank to blackout, with some funny stories I wont publish here. During our stay Candice gambled $3.00 and lost it all, Michael gambled $20.00 and ended up with $28.00. See who the lucky one is in the family? We did however have a nice dinner with Lori, Brent, Josh and Dave at Il Fornio in New York New York casino, and then with Bob, Raylene and Josh at the-artist-formerly-known-as-Prince's restaurant 3121 at the Rio. We also got to hit the Star Trek Experience, Eat at Quarks, and ride all the rides on the Stratosphere (more than once). All and all a pretty good trip.

1/25/07 - Vegas Bound

We took Michele over to the Grandparents Gerard, Kaylee was with her Mom so we hit the road. Destination, Las Vegas Nevada. We made a short stop in Cameron Park to pick up Aunt Barb (aka Nonnie) and got on the open road. Michael planned the route, and we went past Mono Lake, then onto Stovepipe Wells, Death Valley, Badwater Basin and of course, Vegas. As we peeked over the hills coming from the valley of nothing for a good long time, the first thought was "You'll never find such a wretched hive of scum and villainy." Thanks Obiwan for planting the perfect phrase in my head to describe Las Vegas.

1/20- 1/22/2007 - A fresh coat

We took Michele's birthday weekend and managed to start a fresh coat of paint in the kitchen and living room. We spent the past couple months trying to decide on the colors, and the only thing we could decide was that the decision was not going to me made. Fun no? So Michael put in the order to just go get some paint and we would see if we could live with it on the walls. We wanted to put some color in the kitchen, and make a very dark color on the same palette on the wall opposite the TV. Anyone that's ever tried to watch TV in the house in the daytime knows about the better view of the glare than the program. We stopped for the weekend, and were interrupted by a quick trip to Vegas, but have scheduled to finish up in February. (Oh, and yes, we are going to lose the green couchzilla on the next Rocklin cleanup day)

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.