I can't believe that my little boy - who it seems only yesterday I could rock to sleep in my arms - has graduated from High School and is going out into the world to be a responsible adult. (Fingers Crossed!)
We were blessed to have family and friends here to celebrate this wonderful happening together! Here are some photos from the weekend!
John and his two best buddies - Jake & Justin
Everyone came to our house before the ceremony for Sausage & Pepper sandwiches - and pictures, of course!
Justin is enjoying one of the sandwiches - and we're all feeling a little giddy and excited for the celebration!
The graduation ceremony was wonderful. Salem Academy is a small school - there were about 55 graduates in John's class. Each student is greeted as they walk on stage by a baby photo, a few words are said about each student, and as they receive their diploma their senior photo is displayed. Really lovely!
Waiting for his turn to walk on stage.
Each student chose either a favorite bible verse, someone to thank, or a favorite memory. John said his favorite memory of school was happening right now... walking across this stage. He's such a character.
A little blurry - but their throwing their caps in the air! Hooray!
We couldn't be more proud!
I love this boy so much!
Congratulations John James! Wishing you only wonderfulness and joy in the coming years! You've been a joy to your father and me... a true blessing from above.
Hard to believe - but my baby is now 18 years old!!
We started the day at iHop for a fun breakfast before school and work.
That evening we went to John's favorite restaurant in Salem - Rudy's... Home of the famous Baseball Cut Sirloin Steak. He also had the Sirloin Steak Salad to start... the boy does love his STEAK! Unfortunately the flash on my phone was so bright that our features are a bit washed out... but here's proof we were there.
We had just a few friends/family over for dinner to celebrate the birthday boy. I wanted to get photos of the birthday boy with everyone... but it quickly dissolved into a lot of silliness... which is often times the BEST kind of photos!
~ John and Alyssa ~
~ Add Kerry & Dodi ~
~ Quickly add Darby, Scott and Rob ~
~ Time for Mom and Dad to get into the act... hmm... some of us seem to have grown horns or possibly antlers ~
~ And then we all fell into a fit of giggles ~
~ It's hard to believe that this little guy, who lit up our lives 18 years ago ~
~ Has grown into this handsome young man who we are so very proud of! ~
Last year we decided to begin a tradition, which we continued tonight. A few days before Christmas we travel to Portland to have a scrumptious dinner at Brazil Grill. If you are a meat lover - you'll think you've died and gone to heaven!
The meats are all served at your table by "roaming gauchos". They wander around the restaurant with various cooked meats on swords and they carve the meat right at your table. You begin at the salad bar (but why fill up on salad when a veritable meat feast awaits you!) and when you return to your table you turn what looks like a hockey puck from the red side to green. Green let's the gauchos know you would like to be visited with the various meats. When you want to "rest", turn the puck over to red. Tonight we dined on:
When I visited my Aunt last month she passed along some beautiful treasures to me. I'm saving some of them for my Christmas table - but last night I used some of the gorgeous glassware when entertaining our friends for dinner.
In the 1960's my Uncle bought these gorgeous purple hued glasses trimmed in gold for my Aunt. He purchased them at auction; they were from the 1920's.
There are five glasses for each place setting. I only used the water and wine glasses last night. I have a beautiful service for 10 people.
The occasion last night was our monthly Dinner & a Movie with Kerry & Dodi. We take turns at each other's home every four or five weeks. Last nights movie was the Alfred Hitchcock classic "Vertigo".
Since "Vertigo" takes place in San Francisco, I chose a "surf & turf" meal; tri-tip with Bearnaise sauce, twice baked potatoes and Argentinean Red Shrimp. We began with Shrimp & Corn Chowder, a green salad and Sourdough Rolls. Dodi made an incredible assortment of appetizers, with warm brie and we enjoyed a couple "Cable Car" cocktails. Those were QUITE yummy!
Of course, while the food was delicious - the company was excellent as always. And, I was so thrilled to be able to use the incredible gift from my Aunt - who love tremendously! I feel that I've been entrusted with a treasure - that will cherish forever!
We really enjoyed American Idol this year. We voted for Phillip Phillips EVERY week. Just love him and were really happy that he won. And, although we have watched AI every year - we've never attended one of their concerts. But, because we love Phillip so much - we just HAD to get tickets when they came to Portland this week!
We had really great seats and thoroughly enjoyed the evening and ALL of the performances. Got some great photo's and video's. Here are a few of my favorite pic's from the evening.
The top 10, minus Phillip.
The top 4 - Joshua, Phillip, Jessica and Holly
Joshua, backed up by Erika, Deondre and Elise
Phillip singing "Volcano", with Jessica singing backup
The Girls, minus Jessica
Our boy - Phillip! He was so wonderful!
We had such a wonderful evening! Thanks to my fabulous husband for getting the tickets for us to enjoy the concert together. Can't wait to see Phillip perform on his own in the near future!
Last night we celebrated the graduation of several of John's friends from High School. It was a lovely ceremony honoring the 59 graduates of Salem Academy.
We were sitting a little too far away and the lighting wasn't ideal for my photos to turn out well - but here they are anyway.
~ John and Justin ~
I wish I could have taken more photos of John and his friends after the ceremony, but things were rather hectic and quite crowded. There will be time this summer to snap some candid shots of these boys I've grown to love and consider a part of our family!
Congratulations to the class of 2012. Hard to believe, this time next year it will be my baby graduating! He'll not be happy that I just called him "my baby"... but, that's a Mother's prerogative.
Richard and I had an opportunity for a little wine tasting today. We visited Piluso Vineyard and Pudding River. Both quite tasty and we may have brought a bottle or two home to enjoy this weekend - and beyond. But, the added bonus was that we know the owners of Piluso's and got to enjoy their company along with their daughter Tracy and my BFF, Adrienne.
Richard snapped this photo of "us girls". It was really nice spending a little time with them and enjoying such delicious vino!
At Piluso we really enjoyed the Tempranillo and Blanc de Noir. Both deliciously YUMMY.
At Pudding River I was pleasantly surprised to find a scrumptious Viognier. We don't usually see this varietal in the Willamette Valley. So, this was a treat! I also loved the Chardonnay Reserve; totally buttery and creamy.
It was a beautiful little jaunt into the country to enjoy two wonderful vineyards - time together with my hubby - and getting to see friends too!
Richard celebrated his birthday in style this year - with TWO parties.
On his birthday we celebrated at our favorite restaurant, "Rudy's". Richard's sister Kelly and her husband Jay joined us to celebrate the birthday boy.
On Cinco de Mayo we had friends over for a combination Cinco de Mayo / Birthday celebration. I took photos before the party, and of Richard blowing out his candles... but somewhere along the line I completely forgot to take photos of the party itself. Well - guess I was having a really good time!
Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband who I love so very much. He's loving, charming, handsome, kind, generous and keeps me laughing. I love you Richard!
Richard enjoys traveling, spending time on the computer, watching sports on tv, photography, and spending time with family and friends. Currently he and Cindy are very involved in walking for exercise. He goes out on hour walks about six times per week. Sometimes twice per day.
Cindy loves laughing and having fun. Spending time with those she loves is what she enjoys most. Her interests are reading, going to the movies, many tv shows, music, crafting, traveling, gardening, redecorating the house, and photography. This summer she has been learning how to can. Pickles, Green Beans, and Salsa are taking up space in our pantry!
John James "J.J."
John loves movies, computer games, and books. He just graduated from High School and is preparing to enter college in the fall. His goal is to get into the field of forensics. He is really enjoying watching several old TV shows on Netflix; X-Files, Stargate, Stargate Atlantis, and Bones. His favorite place to travel is New Orleans. Beignets are his FAVORITE thing! Well, after STEAK!
Brian is Richard's "first born". He lives in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Wish we got to see him more. We miss him.
Daddy's Little Girl
Here is a beautiful picture of Kristi with her Daddy on her wedding day. She lives in So Cal with her husband Bob. Here's a picture of them below. We sure wish we all lived closer. It would be nice to see them more often.
John & Sylvia Porter, Cindy's parents. They were married for 45 years. Sylvia passed in '86. John joined her 7 years later.
Jim and Jeane Mulligan - Richards' Parents. We lost them both too soon - and still love and miss them tremendously.
The Mulligan Menagerie
Skittles enjoys watching TV, being fed, and lying on his back while being petted by his family!
Coco is our 'little princess'. She is spoiled and loves to be pampered. Her favorite thing is being loved by her family, and her brothers Oreo & Skittles.
Oreo is a funny boy! He and Coco are brother and sister. He has a crooked tail, and since his legs are short - he kinda waddles. We call him a "Penguin Cat".
One of the newest members of our family. Only 10 weeks old! Presenting Cappuccino
And the other new member of our family. Cappuccino's sister - Espresso.