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Our friends, the Martins, had a great Christmas sweater party and ginger-bread house making competition. The conversation flowed like wine and the good times flocked like the salmon of Capistrano! Here are some of the highlights.

Beth and Myself in our sweet Christmas sweaters…sorry about the glazed look on my face.

Brandon, Shannon, and Owen Capuano…Brandon, an old lady called and she wants her sweater back.

Melissa and Hannah in their glittery sweaters…Hannah actually won the competition.

Beth, Aubrey, Melissa, and Beth spreading the Christmas cheer.

And now…the gingerbread houses!

Aubrey made a S’more-Gingerbread Palace

Donovan did this one in honor of his brother-in-law, Donnie.

Hannah gave us an idea of what actually goes on inside a gingerbread home…

Scott crafted his out of home-made gingerbread logs for a nice rustic look. Melissa’s house collapsed after hours of intense labor and no pictures were taken in time.

Ken did a candy version of Virginia Tech’s Lane Stadium

And the Winner Was: Beth’s Candyland Camp Ground…notice the RV on the right and the sweet gum tent.



Our friend, John Spring, came on down to Corona for some sweet hang-time. Here’s a picture of the guys at Bass Pro Shops…the coolest store in Southern California.

Hannah making new friends…

And Virginia Tech won the ACC championship, beating Boston College! A great reason to bust out the polyester baseball jersey!

Kale loaded the tree on top himself…Christmas Tree hunting at Target!

The Flowers, Blakeys, Nguyens, and Burns’ kids bundled up to go deep into the forest of Target to find the perfect Christmas trees.

For the past three years, Beth and I have had the privilege of enjoying Thanksgiving with friends in Corona (to see pictures: go to

Our Assignment: The Turkey…this year, Dos Turkeys. Here are the chronicles of our turkeys.

Step One: Thaw and Brine Turkeys for 24 hours. (Brining is basically soaking them in salty sugar-water..the brine is brown because of brown sugar, not because of bile)

Step Two: While Turkey #2 continues brining, Beth prepares the oven bag for Turkey #1 (the oven bag cooks the turkey faster and seeps it in its juices…that’s a good thing).

Step Three: Taking Turkey #2 out of Brine and drying it (then place it in fridge to sit overnight).

Step Four: Do awkward pose with headless bird.

Step Five: Carve the Bird…here is some of the leftover carnage.

Step Six: Pile the Meat on a Platter…dark meat on one side, white on the other

The full carnage

Turkey #2 just out of the oven on Thanksgiving Day (cook it Chest-down so that the white meat soaks in the juices).

Step Seven: Ladies place turkey on amazingly decorated table with many other amazing foods.

Step Eight: Gorge! (The turkey is buried somewhere under the mashed potatoes and stuffing)

Step Nine: Enjoy Days of Leftovers…turkey sandwiches, turkey wraps, turkey soup, turkey burritos, turkey and peanut-butter, etc…

Every year, for the past four years, we have had a little healthy competition going in the area of those orange things that aren’t really good for anything but decorating and pie…you guessed it, Pumpkins! Every year, the competition is fierce and only promises to be more so this year. Last year, Jessi Gates won without carving pumpkins, but carved a large squash (actually 2 of them)! She may have to get creative again this year with a possible shortage of pumpkins in England. Here’s the deal…this year, we need even more competitors to step up the competition level.

Here are the rules (and these will be strictly enforced by PCC officials):

  1. There can be no use of stencils or templates for this competition…all designs must be drawn and carved free-hand. (You can get ideas from stencils, just don’t use ’em)
  2. Multiple pumpkins are only acceptable if they come together to make one design/idea.
  3. The winner will be declared through voting that will be open to anyone.
  4. Trash-talk and lobbying is allowed in the blog comments in order to gain more votes.
  5. Pumpkins will be judged based on the following criteria:
    1. Creativity
    2. Non-suckiness
    3. Pizazz
    4. That special something

Deadline: All entries must be in by Midnight of October 31st. Voting will begin the next day, November 1st.

To enter your pumpkin…

  • Take a picture of it and email it to me (I will put it on the official contest blog)
  • Or Send me a link to your blog with your pictures of it.
  • Make sure to include a Title or Name for your creation.

The Prize: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T, find out what it means to me” and the official title for the year of “Pumpkin Carving Master”.

If you want some inspiration, the college group at our church did a pumpkin carving contest last night…you can see their entries and vote if you want here.

Day three with Maddie, Kale, and Avery was another fun and busy day. Church in the morning, lunch, naptime, pool time, dinner time, playground time, root-beer float time, and then bed-time (it may have been a bad call to do root-beer float time before bed time…we’ll see).

Here are some of the highlights:

Here’s day two of hanging with Maddie, Kale, and Avery.

Baking a cake…(Scott, Kale is wearing an apron, not a skirt)

Happy Birthday to Mom…from Maddie, Kale, and Avery!

The cake was nummy

Two very important events happened today.

Before… we have Maddie’s tooth about 5:00pm.

After…we have the tooth and another empty spot in Maddie’s mouth (about 8:00pm)

Also today, I (Ken) finally lost my dead toenail! In January, my ski boot killed it. It finally fell off at the end of April.

Before: Halfway there:

After: (It’s the big toe…the second toe always looks like that…it’s a mallet toe)

We have the privilege of having Madison, Kale, and Avery Burns stay at our house while their mom and dad are celebrating their anniversary.

Scott and Mellissa, these are not staged…its been a lot of fun so far! And as I said before…fake teeth never get old!

Not quite Bora Bora…

The Wiggles…captivating

Congratulations to Blake and Bekah Boys…

 Owen Edward Boys was born on 2/21/07 at 2:30am.

 Here is the link to their blog with pictures of Baby Owen: