Monday, March 31, 2008

Bolsa Chica State Beach

I was skeptical when Jeff proposed taking the kids to the beach. Not only are we white as ghosts from living in Oregon, but I was concerned about watching all of the kids in the ocean. My pessimism was unfounded though, and we had a GREAT time. Garrett, Grace and John especially loved everything about the beach. Emma was too cold and has negative memories of the water from our St. Martin trip to really enjoy it, and Jacob did not like walking on the sand. Or getting sand dumped on his head. Repeatedly.

John putting sand on Jacob's head
all of us
Garrett and Grace frolicking on the sand.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

We're back!

From our 2 week vacation in the sun. We were like little lizards sunning ourselves every chance we got, and the time away was so nice. Tomorrow I'll tell you all about it, but for now, let's just suffice it to say that it's COLD. Even a little snow. I miss the warm weather already!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Blog My Blog I

I'm unrepentantly ripping this idea off from Kailani at An Island Life. I just think the idea is genius and can't wait for you participate.

Here's how it works. I'll start off with a question or phrase. The first person to comment answers that question or finishes the phrase and then poses their own question or phrase. Then, the next commenter answers that question or phrase and then leaves one of their own. And it progresses from there.

I know this will be tons of fun, so jump on the blog wagon and blog my blog!

The first question is: If your ten year wedding anniversary were coming up, where would you go to get away?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Childhood Treasure #3/Wordless Wednesday

Ever wonder what personality you had as a toddler? I'm pretty sure I can guess mine from this picture.....

Sunday, March 23, 2008

American Accent?

Here's a fun quiz. What accent do you have?
What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The West

Your accent is the lowest common denominator of American speech. Unless you're a SoCal surfer, no one thinks you have an accent. And really, you may not even be from the West at all, you could easily be from Florida or one of those big Southern cities like Dallas or Atlanta.

The Midland
North Central
The Inland North
The South
The Northeast
What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Still scratching my head.....

I received an email today in my spam folder entitled, "this is why you are fat". Now, my question is: "Who in their right mind would send out such an insulting email thinking maybe someone would open it?"

And, I called the listing agent on a property that I drove by to find out the price and he said, "you are a day late and a dollar short. It's sold". Totally annoyed me, and left me wondering.....why some people do and say the things they do?

Friday, March 21, 2008

Childhood Treasure #2

That's me standing next to the lounging woman on the chaise. "Join the Roman Spa and you will find not just beautiful women laying by the pool, but you just might encounter a child that shadows you, too". If I saw this ad, I know I'd join (snicker)!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Featured Mom Blogger

Look! My name really *is* in lights. I have been selected to be the Featured Mom of the Week over at From to Diapers and Beyond. This is a huge honor, and I can't think of a better way to start the week. Don't forget to check me out....monoamniotic moms will love this one especially, and then browse Christine's site. She is mommy to many kidlets, yet finds the time to be a power blogger. Her blog has a bit of everything. You won't be disappointed. And don't forget to tell me how you liked my Mom of the Week debut!

Laptop Giveaway-Cast Your Vote

The voting has commenced. I once was HP is giving away a child's laptop. I posted about it here, but the voting post is here. If you have an extra minute, hop on over and vote for the child that you think deserves the laptop the most.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Extreme Makeover Landscape Style

What started out as a good intention to get new sod and spruce up our flower beds turned into Extreme Makeover Landscape Style. I'm not complaining though. The finished product turned out better than I could have ever imagined. This is the culmination of hours and hours of backbreaking labor, diligence and an eye for design. I am amazed at the work the landscaper produced. He (and his crew) dug and built the retaining walls, levelled the grass area, selected and planted all new plants, fixed our irrigation and installed the sod. Now I have four of my favorite trees: a lovely Japanese Laceleaf Maple, a regular Japanese maple, a sugar maple, and a weeping something or another. Oh, and a front yard that I absolutely adore.
I'll get some better pictures next time I don't wake up before the birds *just* because I was excited to get some pictures of my yard......
It's hard to see in the first picture, but the retaining wall in front curves around...

The tree you see in front is a laceleaf maple. The leaves are reddish most of the year, and have this amazing shape (like lace) but in the fall, the leaves turn this amazing deep red. The taller tree behind that is a Japanese maple whose leaves turn an amazing shade of red as well. Next to that is the weeping tree. BEFORE

Locked out AGAIN....

I think that if ever there was a time that a live cam would have been appreciated, the other day would be it. Last week my kids locked me out of the house and thought they were incredibly clever. A few days ago I got locked out of my car.......with the keys and Tiki inside. Let me just tell you upfront that I haven't come so close to having a panic attack. Ever. We were already late for carpool rounds and as I made a last dash into the house to round up the rest of the troops Jacob got into the van (where I'd thrown the keys on the seat) and closed and locked the doors. I stood there for 5 minutes trying (I mean frantically yelling to pull on the button) to get him to unlock the door, while he smiled and didn't do what I asked him to do and I had heart palpitations before I distanced myself from the situation. It became Emma's job to talk him through unlocking the doors while I took deep cleansing breaths. Less than a minute later the doors were unlocked, and disaster was averted. I can only imagine how comical I must have looked...would have been a great entertainment. For others who enjoy anothers folly.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Introducing Pocahontas

Have I ever mentioned how very much I love the schools here? They are the top in the state, and the curriculum has proven to be successful. Grace NEVER comes home with busy work. The work she does in school is meaningful and relates to real life problems/issues/phenomenon. She just finished a "Great People" unit and it was so much fun to be involved with . Over the course of three weeks she had to read books on Pocahontas, answer questions about her life, many using critical thinking skills, and then write and present an oral report using the first person on Pocahontas. Art literacy was also implemented as she had to make a depiction of the Indian Princess and she had to put together a container of interesting facts and props. The project ended with every 2nd grader in the school dressing up as their great person and having an interactive parade. This was a great opportunity for us to work together, experiment with research techniques, learn to use available resources and just enjoy soaking up the knowledge in a seemingly non didactic way. Way to go Pocahontas!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

At Seventeen...

Me, at Seventeen.....

My mom at Seventeen...

The top picture was edited from this original. I love photo editing software, especially if it's free like Picasa. I also adore the outfit I'm wearing. Gotta love the early nineties (can you hear my snicker?).....leotards for tops and mens jeans for the bottoms.....

Childhood Treasure #1

This morning I decided to hunt for a particular picture. I didn't find it, but I did find a few "childhood treasures". I've selected a few to share with you over the next few weeks as I think they were pretty good "finds".

This first one just might be my favorite. You'll have to look closely, but this is a sample of my poetry and art skills. I think it was pretty apparent from an early age that I sorely lacked artisitic ability. I'm going to type my poem for you so that you can see just what inspired me back then:

My Pencil

I had a pretty pencil.

It was very red.

But when I started writing,

I had a broken led.

I wondered what I could do.

I was really feeling blue.

I asked Sandra, "do you have a pencil I can borrow?"

She said, "No, not today, maybe tomorrow."

And here's my nonsense rhyme:


The dog tried to talk.

Pretty amazing, right? Here's the doozie......these poems were written in the 4th grade. Yep 4th grade. I shudder to think that that was the best I could come up with!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Home Improvement Installment #2

We contracted our bathrooms out (to my BIL) before we moved in. I truly, truly regret now NOT having taken pictures of what the bathrooms looked like before the remodel.

Here is our master bathroom jacuzzi of my favorite places to relax.

The master bath shower....

And our contribution to the bathroom. I only wanted one thing, and it was this particular granite top. Jeff picked out everything else.

Here's a shot of the kids bathroom toilet. Now why I took this picture, I'll never know. I think it might be to show the wainscoting? Maybe to show that the bathroom functions as a bathroom? Look, there's a toilet, and even a place to hang the bath towels?

I love this combination of slate. I picked the samples out while I was in the hospital. One of the more interesting things I did while incarcerated.

This bathroom just makes me happy. It is always bright and has really high ceilings so it feels very airy. Plus, all the kids can fit in the bathroom and still have room to spare. One of my favorite features of the bathroom is a sky light that lets in the sun. And here in Oregon, every ray of sun is highly desired. If you could have seen the purple bathtub, lavender toilet, purple Formica counter top with purple tile accents and purple grout in the floor tile, you'd probably appreciate the way the bathroom looks now as much as I do!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hanging out.....

I've started telling my babysitters that they can give my kids snacks, but when I get home, I don't want to know what they've eaten because it's all over my house and on their body. Maybe I should take my own advice. I have a sinking suspicion that when my kids are older they are going to ask me more than once why I didn't bother washing their faces before I took the picture. My defense? Just keeping it real.

Home Improvement Installment #1

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are SO close to being done with all of the home improvements we have been working on for the past 2 years. Here's installment #1. Before and after.

This is the kitchen while we were in the process of replacing all of the appliances with Stainless Steel ones.

Here's the kichen now, with crown molding, matching appliances, a new faucet, new window trim, and new cabinet doors, drawers and hardware. Notice that now I have some cupboards with glass fronts? Love em.

We painted the room this color when we moved in, and although I love the color, it was a poor choice for this room beccause it made the room way too dark.

A lighter color on the walls, new trim and crown molding really made this room lighter and brighter.

This cool color (which we put up) stuck out like a sore thumb with the warm colors on all the other walls.

The wall color looks burgandy in this picture, but it's really a paprika color. It looks really warm and rich, and I love how the crown and trim makes the room look like it has more depth.

Monday, March 10, 2008

His New Hobby

Remember that I told you that a post about Jeff was coming up? Well, here goes: Before Jeff and I were married, he had a hobby that sapped a lot of his student earnings. When he went to Pharmacy School he decided that his car restoration was a hobby that would have to go. He wouldn't have the time, or finances to sink into his 1953 Ford. So, my dad entered the picture and took over the restoration of the car......but that's beside the point. The point of this post is that Jeff has found a new hobby, one that I can really embrace. He is really gifted with wood working, and I couldn't be happier with the results.
Perhaps you can't tell from this picture, but this window is getting the wood working done on it was no small feat. Especially for someone who hates to be on ladders.
My favorite area of crown molding. Look at those beautiful angles.

He's done trim on every doorway and window in the house like the one shown here, and baseboards as well! Love what the crown does for this room.....

and this one.....

and this one.

And have I mentioned that he's an amazing father and husband?

"I Love Mommy"

Today I fully expect to spend the day wrapped in warm fuzzies. I plan on memorializing in my mind a moment that will sadly never come again in the exact same way, but one that literally made my heart swell with gratitude. I appreciate that my mind has a built in projector that can do more than just rewind. It has the capacity to replay certain scenes in any order at almost any time I want to recall them. I just wish the detail was better. I wish that for the really good ones I felt exactly the same way I did when they happened.

I never want to forget how I felt last night when Jacob said without being prompted, "I love mommy. I love mommy" when I was putting him to bed. All of my children have had a first time telling me that they love me, but somehow I let the moment pass. I didn't take the time to revel in the warmth and strength it should have given me. I'm not going to let that happen this time....or next time when John says it for the first time. I'm a fool for not recognizing "one of those moments" the first three times. So, today I'm going to replay and replay that scene, and my favorite scenes from my other children's lives and enjoy the peace and comfort those memories bring.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

The Things that can't wait......

Some of you may remember me mentioning that getting a 4 minute uninterrupted shower seems like a luxury. Doesn't happen very often. Today about 1.5 minutes into my shower Emma opened the shower door to have this converstation with me:
Emma, "Mom, Grace missed Felicia's birthday".
Me, "Who is Felicia?"
Emma, "you know, Grace's Webkinz horse".
Me, "That's too bad. I'm taking a shower".
Emma exits bathroom and Grace enters: (can't catch a break here)
Grace, "Mom, Goldie's birthday is October 2nd, and my other one is born on the 23rd, so can I have a party for them and just invite my special friends and they can each bring their favorite Webkinz to the party?"
Me, "I'll think about it".
It's taken me years to learn that this answer will buy me another minute in the shower. The real answer of, "there is no way I am hosting a birthday party for a stuffed animal and your friends" would have bought me a migraine. It's taken some hard knocks, but I'm learning.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wordless Wednesday-Discovery

Monday, March 03, 2008

Lock Out Monday

I'm in a rut. Can't think of anything intelligent to write about. Today has been sort of an adventure though. Got locked out of my house by 6 kids under 6 years of age inside. Alone. Hiding in the shower. If one of Emma's friends hadn't unlocked the door, I would have never known that 6 little people were giggling uncontrollably in the shower. Now this is the stuff memories are made of. "Remember that time we were in Kindergarten and locked your mom out of the house and hid in the shower?"

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Refrigerator Meme

M at Beanish and Other Languages I'm Learning tagged me for this meme. Apparently, what is on your refrigerator is a window into what is going on in your family at the time, which makes me laugh since all I have on the part of my refrigerator that shows is a few dents compliments of FIVE clowns. The side that few see contains paper for my grocery lists and alphabet and animal magnets. My kids need to learn their letters and animal sounds somewhere, right? Just as long as they don't clutter the front side. :)

Consider yourselves tagged, and then head over to Heart of Wisdom, the originator of this meme to enter to win her contest.

I thought I had experienced it all.....

5 kids later I thought I was a pretty seasoned mom. Been there, done that. Until today. When John pulled open the back of my pants, looked in and asked, "you too, mommy?" Yep. First time one of my children have asked me if I have poop in my pants too. And for no reason. I promise.