Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry Christmas…

The reason to blog is new laptop and Live Writer! So exciting! Thanks Sweetie!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What is sweeter than sweet???

At bedtime I am usually the parent that is screaming about brushing teeth, cleaning bedrooms, dirty clothes on the floor, backpacks that are unpacked, oh- and don't forget my personal favorite- "PUT YOUR PAJAMAS ON!". All of this is usually done while Steve sits 7 feet away in the office catching up on work, watching videos on YouTube, or reading my blog.
But with all the stress of bedtime nothing beats Abby asking-
"When is daddy going to come and say good night to me?"
...Kind of like a knife in the back...
But it is kind of sweet to listen to her giggle when after he gives into tickling her and then to hear them talk to each other when he lays in bed with her... Tonight I was the audience to the two of them singing "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" a little off key but still adorable.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dear Friends and Family 2009...

The hits and highlights of 2009 for the Kuhtzs (some blog worthy, others didn't make it):

9. Performance anxiety- NOT! Abby participated in her first dance recital in June. Our little hip-hopper busted a move all over the stage. I couldn't believe her and she is already excited about her next recital in June 2010! The girl has moves (check her out)!

8. AR Tests have become part of our daily discussion. Jack has fallen in love with reading. He isn't the best but he is motivated by one thing! CHARMS! I am proud to say that he is the only student in his class that has collected a charm every month for achieving the grade level reading goal. I am so proud! 7. Karate Kicks! Jack and Abby both continue to attend karate class. Jack recently achieved the rank of Blue Belt, which means that he is able to participate in advanced weaponry classes. Very exciting. Abby love karate too because she is the "upper belt" in her Pre-K class which means that she calls class to attention and demonstrates all the moves with Sensei Adam.

6. "Loser Island" is what we called the big blow up raft that Steve and I purchased on a whim at Costco in May. We spent many Sundays with the kids in the pool, relaxing on the adults-only barge. One or two "adult-only" beverages may or may not have been consumed on Loser Island.

5. RV'n. I never thought that I was one for camping but Steve convinced me that leasing an RV from some friends would be the best way to figure out if we would enjoy the experience as a family. See #3 for more on RV'n.

4. Back to work, back to reality for me. I made the big decision to get my Insurance License in September and 52 hours and a 3 hour test later I was approved by the State of California to sell insurance. I never thought that I would work for Steve but here I am doing it and actually enjoying it. The big question is will you ever go back to teaching and the answer is "NO WAY *" (*= not unless I absolutely have to).
3. Land of the lost. Our RV travelling took us to all kinds of hot spots like Fernley in Nevada, Buttonwillow, Millerton Lake, and Ambroy in California. Never heard of them don't worry neither had I and you aren't missing much. The theme to the locales is RACING, we don't go there if it doesn't involve RACING.


2. LeMons 2008- 2009 went like this. Christmas Day 2008 leave for race, lose because of a -1,500 lap penalty. My birthday, dirt, wind, friends, and FUN! I am hooked. August an amazing second place finish after our last driver flipped the car in the final lap (let me know if you would like me to send you the video). If you have the chance to join us at a race- PLEASE DO! As for racing in 2010, we have scheduled 2 LeMons races and Steve's Shelby Mustang will be one of the car participating the SpeedTV's newest Internet and television program, Forum Wars.

1. The BIG 4-OH! On December 15th, Steve turned 40, with little fanfare. Mostly because I was sick but also because we celebrated his half birthday in June complete with a pirate-themed pool party with many of our friends in attendance.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Tardy to the Party...

I sincerely planned a big 40th birthday blog for Steve yesterday but the sniffles got me down. So here it goes, a day late hopefully not a dollar short.
THE BIG 4-0!
Steve isn't much of a birthday guy. This year we celebrated 39 1/2 in June. Warm weather, lots of friends, good food, swimming, and a card shower (as Brian Varney so eloquently put it "You must be old, the only card shower I have heard of was for an 80 year old woman")! It was nice, without the hassle of holiday stuff to get in the way.
But you can't go without celebrating your birthday on your birthday! This year at 40, Steve:
  • Scratched off his first lottery scratcher. I know, he has been hidden under a rock for the last 30 years.
  • Got kicked out of a night club. I never thought I would see the day.
  • Sold 35 Medicare Advantage and Supplement plans.
  • Woke up at 4 am to drive to Bakersfield only to be "Patti Waldo'ed".
  • Slept on the couch, because I snored all night long. SORRY!
  • Crashed the Planned Parenthood of Fresno's Christmas party. Seriously!

  • Had a two nap weekend!
  • Felt so old he didn't want a party.
  • He won $3 off of 5 scratchers.

Whatever old guy! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Guess who is on the naughty list...

I know right? My favorite store of all times. Has been very, Very, VERY bad! And I have the facts to prove it.
Fact #1:
On November 10th I ordered two Lego Advent Calendars, one for Jack and the other for the Callahan boys. At $29 a piece that was a Christmas spirit splurge. As I placed my order the confirmation stated "Items will be delivered between December 2 and December 16th"- Yikes that is a long time and kind of defeats the purpose of an advent calendar which is supposed to count down the 24 days to Christmas, but the boys will loved them so I left my order in Target limbo.
In the mean time every time I have found myself in Target I would have to breeze down the Lego aisle hoping that the Lego gods would smile upon me and bless me with the prized advent calendar. No such luck. Then last Thursday morning I noticed that I had a order update from Target in my Inbox. Great! The Advent calendars are on the way!
Try Again!
The Lego conspiracy continues with a back order date of January 26 to January 28. I don't know about all of you but there is not a single Christmas decoration in my house past January 3rd if there is anything I can do about it. Not to mention the fact that no Christmas item should be bought from Target after December 24th for no less then 50% off. By January 26th, these calendars should be discounted by 90% in my eyes. GRRR! ORDER... CANCELLED.
Moral to the story. Buy local. Buy early (like in October when Jack first spotted them in the store and I told him it was too early to buy Christmas stuff). And no one gets hurt.
Fact #2:
Starts with the Fresno Bee is the most worthless newspaper on the planet. After "The Bee" reformatted this fall, the news didn't exist. Articles about things I care about and that aren't even happening in our community, doesn't encourage me to renew my subscription. The Sunday ads did for awhile keep me reading for awhile. In an attempt to cut costs, I let the subscription go because I can see the Target ad online (click for this week's ad). But little did I know that Target tricks up in to feeling bad about the availability of products available in my normal Target with the sweet, sweet deals available only at the SUPER TARGET. The elusive SUPER TARGET-aghh! How I wish you were mine, all mine! But I can't have you so please don't show me what you have to offer (in other words the things that can't be mine).
Moral to the story. Ignorance is bliss. Thanks a lot Target, I am not feeling so blissful.
I am beginning to feel the pain that Charlie Brown felt. What is the true meaning of Christmas?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Merry Grinch-mas...

Last year Christmas exploded at our house. This year not so much! While I am lucky that I finished addressing our Christmas cards, I failed to remember the school, dance, and cousins pictures that have been patiently waiting to be appreciated by all that were supposed to go in them. OOPS! The Christmas decorating that I started before Thanksgiving came to a screeching halt around December 3rd. The only reason I decorated on December 3rd is because I didn't have a place to put the Christmas cards that I started to arrive and I took the card tree out of the attic and set it up.
No jolly Santas on the mantel.
No Nativity with lights and garland.
No blow ups in our yard (much to my children's protest).
There is just not enough time to "blow up" Christmas this year. Boo! Hoo!
Luckily the shopping is done!
The tree is up!
And gifts are in the process of being wrapped!
But the biggest guilt I have this Christmas season is that
I didn't have the time to write my annual Christmas letter.
Silly right?
It is one of my favorite Christmas traditions and this year I just don't have enough time to do it. Sorry!
Check back next week and maybe I will blog my Christmas letter.
There is still hope!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Life in Balance...

The problem-
A totally rad yellow and blue Schwinn without training wheels.
Won by Jack in 2007 at the Firefighters Soapbox Derby.
The solution-
Great weather + a dad that was not going to quit + The Balance Buddy + some tears=

The Results-

AMAZING! Jack is biking machine!

He wants to go everywhere on his bike and he does it with the biggest smile on his face.

If his mother would think about it she would have a picture here of Jack on his bike. Bad Mom!

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Steve is working his butt off during the Medicare "Annual Election Period" , I am trying to help him out by working at a moderate pace. Unfortunately, the grueling hours sitting in Wal Mart, driving to appointments, and calling people is not showing their effect on the actual part of the anatomy that is supposedly being worked off. I am pretty much guaranteed to be a featured butt on a national news report about the "effects of stress and obesity in America" or "why your shouldn't have a Starbucks scone everyday". AGHHHH!
January 1 can't come fast enough.


It was 600 hours to Thanksgiving.
It can be 600 weeks to my birthday.
It will be 600 minutes until we leave for Grandma's.
It should be about 600 seconds until we make cookies.
And how about 600 days until Santa comes.
What is your exaggerated number? Can you guess what Abby's is?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"Mommy, you were..."

I am going to treasure every time she says it to me because I know some day she will think everything I say is WRONG! What was I right about? 1. The skirt that Grandma Kuhtz gave her is too big. 2. She needed to wear tights or knee socks with her new denim skirt, because her legs would be cold. 3. The jacket and undershirt I told her she would need today because the classroom would be cold, but she didn't want. She needed it.
Do you see a theme? Just a glimpse of what my future will be like. Lucky me!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Number 100...

It's a milestone right, a time to reflect on where I have been and look forward to the future. So here it goes. My kids are the most talked about blog topics. They are cute, funny, sometimes annoying, but they are mine and I can't help but talk about them ALL the time (the good, the bad, the ugly). In the beginning Steve hated me blogging about him. He has come around to the notion that I am making fun of myself just as much as I am making fun of him, and I can make him the hero of the story. Besides my family I love to blog about my favorite things, I think I have covered it all- websites, holidays, Christmas decorations, vacations, recipes, books, the weather, my hair guy, the list goes on and on. Maybe it is because I love the Sound of Music (there is another favorite thing), so I love to blog and sing the "Favorite Things" song in my head. Cuckoo! When I started blogging, I believed that my sister and myself were the only people who read my blog. Now I know I am NOT the only person that reads it. I love the counter and the Live Webfeed. But my favorite part is the comments. Comments make me happy, they boost my ego (as if it needed boosting). And even though I am pretty sure that "Anonymous" is my father-in-law, I still like him encouraging me with comments like "you are funny". I can't leave out my 5 loyal followers, without you I would be nothing.
Here is to 100! And here is to 100 more! Thank you!
Does this sound like an award acceptance speech or is it just me?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Soooooooo goooood!!! It is SINFUL...

A few years ago I found the most amazing cheeseball recipe in Martha Stewart Living of all places (for those of you who know me know that is really funny). Anyway everyone loved it so much and I gladly shared my precious cheeseball recipe with basically the world. It is that good. The problem is that MY cheeseball began appearing at every function, and it wasn't me making it. I got annoyed and vowed never to share my recipes with anyone ever again, until now.
Drum roll please!!!!
Oh wait pause to appreciate the beauty of my cheeseball... top of the picture... there she is... looks good right???

oh! Sorry! Back to the recipe to end all recipes!

Ta! DaH!
Caramel Puff Corn 1 c. butter 2 c. brown sugar 1/2 c. light Karo syrup Boil ingredients for 5 minutes and then add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda. Pour this mixture over 2 bags of puff corn (hulless popcorn- I found it in the chip aisle at the grocery store, the brand was Chester’s). I pour one bag and half the caramel mixture and then add the other bag and the last half of the caramel mixture. Bake for 1 hour on cookie sheet (I put mine in a roaster/ Lasagna pan) at 250 degrees. Let dry on parchment paper in a single layer, break apart chunks. This is the most amazing stuff ever! So yummy! AND EASY! ENJOY!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's ON...

The annual Kuhtz Halloween Party is tonight (actually being held in two different states- ha!). The California Kuhtzs will be celebrating Halloween with the MOST offensive, vile, disgusting, revolting, embarrassing, not fit for public T-shirts ever! I can't wait to see who has brought it! Because I definitely did. Don't ask because I am too embarrassed to even repeat mine. :) Needless to say, no kids are allowed!
Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Missing Persons Report

I think I have finally dug myself out of the insurance hole that I disappeared into. While I consumed most of my waking hours over the last few weeks with my insurance course (only to making a few appearances at the kids' schools and at Junior League events that I had already committed myself to). All of my "hard" work paid off in the form of passing my test and a house that was a complete and total disaster (not to mention the expanded waistline from eating nothing but candy and fast food for 2 weeks- kind of like the Freshman 15). Next step? 45 days in my favorite local germ palace- Wal Mart! You know you need a Medicare Supplemental policy. I will see you there! Be sure to drop in for a butterscotch and to catch a glimpse at my customer base...

Monday, September 28, 2009

I was given permission...

To tell everyone that I suffer from Steve's OCD. This morning reinforced this fact, when Jack presented us with last week's behavior report from school. 4 out of 5 days he got in trouble for talking, but one day had a different note, "making fun of a student". Steve, upset with Jack for laughing at another student demanded to know that occurred to cause this unthinkable behavior from our usually kind and caring little boy. Through the tears and wails, all I could understand was "food" "teeth" and Jack repeating over and over again "I just couldn't take it." I think he tossed in for good measure pointing at his front teeth.
Now for those of you who know Steve, you know that he will obsess about the smallest "sesame seed" (sorry Sara), mole, crazy hair, and facial tic to the point of either dealing with it or not hearing a thing a person might be saying to him. I realized that Jack (Steve's "Mini Me") is his father in every way possible.
The story went like this (I think). A girl had something in her teeth that was black. Jack drew attention to the fact that she had a black something on her teeth, the girl either told the teacher or Jack upset the girl to the point that the teacher had to direct her attention to Jack, thus resulting in Jack having to "move his person" and then three days later his father reaming Jack for being... just like his father.
"I just couldn't take it. I had to laugh. I had to make fun of Steve about it. I got permission to blog about it. I just couldn't keep it to myself!"

While Insurance class takes over your life...

Don't worry you will be able to touch up your roots when it is all over... 52 "classroom" hours later!

Friday, September 18, 2009

A New Discovery...

The School Nurse!
Update on how Jack is doing with his new teacher? Let's just say that on day 2 with "Mrs. New" He ended up in the nurse's office... not once... BUT TWICE! Good grief! This is bad... VERY BAD! Here is why:
  1. Jack had perfect attendance last year (up until his mother pulled him out of school on the field trip to the zoo day to go to Reno to watch his father race- guilty much?)
  2. He hadn't even been to the nurse. I speculate that he didn't know such a person existed at school.
  3. Jack is not so much about change.
  4. Jack doesn't really like to work very hard at "school stuff", it is either easy or impossible.
  5. Jack will look for any excuse to get out of doing "school stuff" if he deems it too hard.

Do you understand now why this is bad? Super nice "Mrs. New" is eager to make sure that all of the children in her new class feels comfortable with their change of scenery and trusts them all (who can fault her? They are 2nd graders!... Trust me after working in the classroom today, I wouldn't trust any of them!).

After trying to get the reason for trips to the nurse's office, all Jack could tell me was a report of the other children's ailments while he was there, 2 for throwing up on the playground, 1 hurt his leg running, and another need a band aid for a blister on her foot.
Then came Monday...
At 10:55, in my mad dash trying to get my errands done before I had to pick up Abby from school at 11:30, I got the call... The nurse. Nurse- Mrs. K, we have Jack here in the office this morning. He has been here once already. He seems fine but his temperature is 99.4 and he is complaining of a stomach ache. Me- Really? Are you sure? Nurse- Yes, Mrs. K. He is asking to go home. Me- Oh! Okay... (really in my mind I am having thoughts of my day crashing in around me and
the swine flu! My friend's kids had it, my in laws had it, CRAP!!! Jack has it!!!) I will be there shortly.
Let's just say... the next time the nurse calls with Jack and a stomach ache. I will tell her to give him a book and make him go to the bathroom and call me back. By the time we got home from picking up Abby he had devoured his entire lunch in the car and his temp never made it over 97.8. Shoo! Shoo! Swine Flu!
I am a horrible mother aren't I?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

We Shall Never Forget...

Every American can agree on something, that September 11th, 2001 will be in our collective conscience for a very long time.

First Day of School Do Over...

Classes were full!!! Too full!!! On day 13 Jack is in a new classroom. We will see how it goes with the child that doesn't take change so well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Those were the days...

College. I loved college. I realize I say this in retrospect, but I truly believe that I loved college. Life was different then, easier. I was lucky enough to go far away from home to experience higher education, and experience I did!
I went to parties. I danced. I met new interesting people (some of whom are still consider my very best friends). I laughed. I travelled (not enough but I saw things that I had never seen before). I learned about things that I never knew existed. I sang. I learned to talk in front of a class of my peers, and that the key to speaking in front of people is to be assertive and unwavering and most everyone will believe what you are saying. I slept. I learned to study. I learned to write better. I drank. I learned that using my time effectively always results in better grades. I learned about new cultures and people. I learned to pull all nighters when I didn't use my time effectively. Most importantly I learned about myself.
If only I knew then what I know now maybe I would have savored those four years rather than chomp right through them, in a hurry to get on with my life. I think I would remember more. I would have realized that there is no hurry to get out because it really does take 10 years to pay off your student loans (and if you do the math you will be 32 and a stay-at-home mom with no income when you make the final payment to the government for your education). I would have travelled more. Laughed more. Studied more. Listened better. Worked harder. Danced more. Used my credit card less(that's for you Steve!). Drank less.
What about you? Is there a time in your life you wish you could go back and do over?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Second Grade...

A belly full of cinnamon rolls, bacon, and berries. Jack was off for day 1 of second grade. An old pro! While all around me my girlfriends are ushering their children off monumental days of school- like the first day of Jr. High and Kindergarten. Jack and I were cool as ice. It doesn't happen very often so I will relish in it. It wouldn't be the first day of school if we didn't take pictures. Jack knew just where to stand.But opening his eyes is always a problem.

Mrs. Brock, Jack's teacher. Don't they look so happy on the first day of school? Still can't open his eyes.

Meet Carl...

The Cat.
We eventually found him. But it wasn't looking good for our Kuhtz Cat Record. Day 1- Lost cat.

Cool Ocean Breezes...

This is as good it gets for a loving sib pic.
Last week of summer. Last chance for a vacation. A beach house provided by my ever generous in-laws. What time should we be there - right?
I love the beach. I even like being beach dirty. Even the threat of "beach hair", doesn't ruin the opportunity to wear a sweatshirt in August. Steve loves the mountains. I am not so much a lover of the mountains, elevation, hiking (I am a walker). AND I hate mountain dirty. It is good to know that the apples fall closer to mom's tree than dad's on some things. Our kids love the beach!!! Not really the water, but Jack is in LOVE with sand! (he could "kiss it" his words not mine).
Better yet we got to walk down memory lane with our kids at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and the local surf spots where Dad once surfed. Mom and Dad feel in love with Board walk because the have TALL BOYS- icy, cold, and available for less then you pay for a Coke at Disneyland!

Girls surf too!

I used to be able to ride the Pirate Ship over and over and over and over again... now? Not so much.

Don't forget vacation treats! Shirley Temples- YUM!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

First Day of School!!!

I think I have adequately bored my children into wanting to go back to school. While Abby has another week before school starts Jack gets the big shove off tomorrow. Or make that I get the big shove off. My cool kid wants to ride the bus to school on the first day of school. Really? Humor me with one day of taking you to school, then you can ride the bus to and from school every day after that. 179 times 2 is a lot of bus rides. BOO! HOO!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

An Open Invitation...

When Steve and I built our house we imagined family and friends from all over to come and stay with us. I think that we roll out a pretty nice "red carpet". For those of you who haven't been formally invited this is your invite...
The Kuhtz Family would love to have you!
We have much to offer.
Warm Summer night dips in the pool. Bellies filled with warm peaches, plums, and nectarines.
Cold winter days spent on the slopes or out of the fog at the beach.
Day trips, hikes, picnics, and boating if you like.
You can't beat Yosemite, Monterey, the Big Trees, or The Bay.
Of course there will be laughing, stories, and great memories!
There is plenty of space for singles, couples, and families to stay inside and out!
Rachel will cook up a great breakfast.
Steve will grill a stellar meal.
Got kids? Jack and Abby will be sure to entertain them.
What to pack?
We have a pack n play, extra car seats, high chairs, sleeping bags, toys, and books. Just bring your essentials and we can provide the rest!
I think we have your bases covered, just give us a call, send an email, or a text.
We always love to have guests! Hint! Hint!

The Backyard Beach...

Looks like Paradise to me. I guess Fresno isn't so bad after all.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

My Mom Always told Me...

If you don't have anything nice to say...
Blog about it it will make you feel better.
Just kidding. I am going to keep my mouth shut on this one and rely on a very wise man.
"Of all my family, I like me the best."
James Charles Kuhtz Sr.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Fright Night is Upon us...

I know that some retailers have a very small window to convince their shoppers to purchase the items that they are pedaling. The worst in my book are the Halloween superstores, especially since every year they open their window wider and wider. I am bitter because we got our second Halloween costume catalog on Saturday. I am not joking- it was #2! Jack was thrilled as were the other 5 children that were at our house when he triumphantly returned with it from the mailbox. The mothers groaned, as the children cheered and settled in to claim what their first, second, and third choice of costumes would be for this Halloween season.
After the children lost interest I grabbed the tattered mess to see what I would not be purchasing for my children this Halloween.
First of all I am glad I am not a parent of a well endowed teen. Frightening!!!
I question the moral compass of designers. Corsets on little girls? Which prompted me to glance at the big girl version of the same dress. Yikes!No Rock Stars or Pink Ladies!I am still debating the qualities of Bakugan themselves, now there is a costume??? Aghhh!At first glance Kermit was my favorite until I looked closer at the pasted on face of this baby in the picture. Never mind!My favorite? The Ewok- the cute fuzzy heroes of the only Star Wars movie I ever liked. And a suggestion- if you are going to send catalogs to my house that have anything to do with something both of my kids want... go ahead and send 2! Laminated would be nice!