Friday, January 29, 2010


Later than I normally post, but this week has been a busier week than expected. While my MIL was in town, we took the boys to a local fundraiser, Cirque de Visalia, and it was a blast. We were early, so the boys saw African drummers inside the auditorium, as well as some princesses in the lobby.
M loved the singing and dancing, was up on his feet when dancers were on stage.

The Jammies are a local daddy band, and they invited the kids to come on stage and hear the music. E didn't want to be left out, so he went up with his brothers. You can see him dancing on stage, while everyone else was sitting.
G loved the music too-he was having a ball up on stage!

Time for pictures with Grandma, before she leaves!

The boys and Grandma

We came home later, before the rain came pouring down, with the intent of watching football. E, on the otherhand, decided to take a nap.

The boys were busy yelling tack, hut, anything that was somewhat related to football during the game.

Sunday kept us inside most the day, thanks to a never ending supply of rain. When the clouds began to part later in the afternoon, G and I went worm hunting. Found some wiggly ones!

G and his worm holder-and worm hunting-a fun indication that I have boys in the house :)
an empty field near where we live, I sometimes think about how many open fields there used to be in this town, before the developments took shape

Monday M had a rough morning, had something to do with his younger brothers and I knew we had some extra time, so I used a giftcard to treat him to hot cocoa. I think that helped, and we had a nice talk too about how we both are the eldest sibling in our families.

On Wednesday, G and me made muffins to bring to his preschool for an after school snack. He was thrilled I let him crack the eggs-and the muffins were suprisingly eggshell free.
Almost done, can you tell he scooped them himself-I had to fight the urge to help, and take over!

The boys and I put together a basket of treats for birthday girls and I delivered it on Thursday. I think it turned out really nice-and it was the first one I had made, and the boys really liked doing it too. I think I'm going to do the same thing in the future for other birthdays.
Saturday we were home, and E was up at the crack of dawn. By lunch time, this is how he was at his table.

Sunday morning is pancake breakfast at the A house! E was the helper today, and was ready to cook!


We went for a walk in the cold-why we did that-I don't quite remember-oh-because it was dry! Nothing like finally getting outside because it had been raining all week long!

E enjoyed the graham crackers and hot cocoa that we made for afternoon snack. It was a nice way to finish off the afternoon before heading for naps.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Poured myself a drink, and having me some therapy time. I used to keep journals when I was a teen-it was my saving grace sometimes, the house I grew up in. Now sitting in my own house, I realize, it too can still be my saving grace-I've taken to messageboards and forums, yet nothing beats pad and paper and coffeehouse, although in this case its laptop and playroom/office. If my words seem a bit random at times, please excuse them-I'm a bit perplexed, emotional at others, but I'll lay it all out there.

Life is humming along in the A house; school, work, life with kids, its busy. I'm at a crossroads though-the proverbial fork in the road. It could be a bypass, leading me back though, but still who knows. These are my most recent thoughts

-there's too many orphans in the world. Hearing about children coming over from Haiti-tiny tugs at my heart. I don't think this is feasible, nor is adopting/fostering stateside for a few reasons-a very big one being I don't think R and I are at the same place on this. I truly think we know we need to raise our own children, before we take more on. That opens up the baby fever. Sigh. No news there. Still a glimmer, but I have to admit, getting through these physically challenging years, its worth it-even with my sweet potato stained sweatpants (and boy did E give me a second look when he did that tonight-but I was just happy for the hug from my two year old)

-I love my friends-the ones near and far, and in between. The ones that love me and laugh at my craziness for going into a dive bar 6 months pregnant (I was the sober driver), or hanging out with me at our house full of odds and ends, macaroni to feed the kids, and conversation that has no end. I love the friends that know I love to save a penny, but won't make it bleed-I'll buy my kids what they need when they need it, and yes I may be frugal minded, but they don't hurtfully call me a tightwad or cheapskate. No one's perfect, but I love how I can talk to people, text, phone, instant message, those friends are true blue, and however long we're bound, its a blessing in my life.

Licensing or law school. Not sure I can handle dispensing therapy to others-look at how I'm avoiding confronting a few people right now on their issues, but then again its them, not me. That sounds so wrong, maybe law school is the better bet. Child welfare is something I'm becoming passionate about-hmmmm. Need to focus, deliberate pros and cons.

Thinking about summer plans. Still on track to get caught up and wondering how many season passes we should get, water park in nearby city, continue with the aquarium, really want to get away from it all-take the kids on a train trip, not too far-but far enough. plenty of time for trips across state lines, and international one day. definitely ideas going through our heads, R and I want to pass on our love of the broader world.

Final thought-I connected this blog with my facebook. why? Because I'm not ashamed of who I am, and I think people who are most likely to read it are those who are non judgemental and have a grip on themselves, so if by some chance they see themselves in my writing, they won't go on the defense with me about it-and if they do, I'm sure they'll approach me and not get passive agressive.

Final, final thought, love life. Its too short, and wherever my road leads, I'm sure someone knows the where and the why. I'll just kick back and enjoy the ride.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Last weekend was a mellow weekend. We had downtime to stay home and rest, it has been awfully cold and damp here, with heavy fog, making it miserable to go out. We did venture out to replenish our pantry with canned food (and get donations for the food bank), but otherwise we rested our bodies and souls. It helped, since this week was such a busy week. On Monday, I helped M's class celebrate Hibernation Day. Storytime was complete with teddy bears and blankets brought from home.
M made a bear claw-biscuit with slivered almonds!
M showing his best bear face!
Snack time!
Tuesday I was driving through the countryside and was blissed out by nature. Times like this I love living out near the countryside, where else can you capture images like this?
You can see the snow fall through the Sequoia National Forest-a 2 hour drive from where we live.

On Tuesday night M and I played with his train set, this time we made a zoo!
Wednesday morning was cold and damp, so the younger boys and I stayed at home and tried to play Candy Land. I'm hoping that one of these days we can play a game that is actually a game-for now, the kids made up their own game and rules-then again-they were having fun, so that's what counts.
Wednesday afternoon after M was done with school, we headed into C town for a playdate. It was sunny and warm-and it was still chilly and damp a half hour away at home! The older two boys were squirrled away with another playmate playing legos (a new fascination) but E had a ball driving around the front yard.
A neighbor had a pet bunny, and E couldn't wait for the chance to get up close and pet her. Too cute!
Thursday was a blur of helping out in M's class for four hours, helping with testing and centers. The teacher appreciated the extra hands, and I loved helping out in his class. Afterwards, I worked from home, the best way I could. I also spent time getting ready for Robert's mom to come into town later that night. It was a beautiful sight seeing the boys run up to her later that evening-and of course, my battery was dead :(, but that's okay, the memory is in my heart.

Friday my MIL Lani and I went to thrift stores, and bargain hunting. There were some places she wanted to go that are not accesible to her in Sacramento, and I love spending time with her. During the time together I hear what's going on back with her, and my SIL and her kids, what she'll possibly need help with in the coming months, and random stuff. I really feel blessed to have her in my life, considering my mom's out of the picture, she's the mom figure in my life. As crazy as she may make R sometimes, I know he loves how close me and her are to each other.Anyways, we both share a love of cooking, and man, can she dish! I let her loose in my kitchen, and off she was cooking-now I know I channel her and have learned a lot from her, but her cooking, it makes the house smell even more wonderful!
The boys colored while dinner was cooking, thanks to coloring books Grandma brought from home.
E showed me how he plays his own made up game, Wiggle man style.
R sneaking a taste of our home cooking
Lani and me, a snapshot in between prepping and eating
Love me some Trader Joe wine, went wonderful with the dinner we made.
The rest of the evening was quiet and relaxing, the hum of the boys playing and us adults enjoying a mellow night at home.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


We started off the week, nice and slow at home. M wanted to bake cookies for a friend, so we did. Cookies never made it over there, but its all good. Nothing soothes a heart like baking cookies with your little boy.

Sunday we tried taking the boys to the park. It was freezing-about 48 degrees! I think we lasted a half hour before we called the troops in. I think we'll wait to go out again when it hits 60 :)

The boys are forever using their imagination to build cities, police stations, and I think this time was a zoo. I love pictures like this because it reminds me that while my boys may scrap and fight like puppies, they have a deep bond as brothers, loving and playing with each other too.

On Wednesday, I ventured out to a playdate with friends at a park in F town, and it was still cold, but at least the sun was out. I know its been a lot of cold, foggy days when M looked outside and asked me what the blue stuff up above us was-it was the blue sky! Of course as we head home, the clouds and fog thickened, so we knew it would be awhile before we'd see some blue sky-and its still clouds and fog as of tonight, no sun peeking through yet :(

One really fun part about Wednesday, I took one of M's playmates (down below M in this picture) with us. It helped out his mom (one of my good friends), gave the boys time to play after school, and I was thankful to have an extra seat to take a friend with us (and having four kids alone for an afternoon, it was a lot of fun-I know I can handle it now!)

G wanted to climb up to the top too, it took him awhile, but boy was he proud when he reached the top!

It seems like the rest of the week sped by, Moms Club meeting (planned out a lot of fun activities for the coming months), substitute taught at a junior high for a day, and did a lot of mystery shops. I made another large payment on our house repair-I hated writing that check, but boy did it feel good to know that we're half way there-only two more payments and we're done!

In other good news, R passed his math class-yay!!! Now we know we're off and running to take him every Saturday, and at least once a week too, to study at the college at the end of this month for the next four months, The driving back and forth will not always be fun, but at least R can move onto the next class. R's excited, its one more step closer to getting his Bachelor's degree.

We ate dinner at home all this week. One night I made a new dish, Sloppy Joe calzones, from Taste of Home's Simple and Delicious magazine. It was warm and filling, and it was healthy, ground beef, beans, tomatoes, and cheese. No leftovers here, and DH told me to keep it in mind for a night when we want something different than our usual chili and cornbread.

Today was mellow. We took a drive to P town-and saw my favorite roadside stand was open. Avacados for .25, nice and ripe and ready for homemade guacamole, almonds, $2 a pound. Huge navel oranges, $1 a lb, but well worth the price. It is a hidden treasure, one I love passing through as we drive through the valley. Went through some small towns, looking for places to go, and stay warm. It was mighty chilly, only hit 46 where we were. No fun for walking outside. We'll try again tomorrow, see where the day takes us.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It never fails that is what is meant to be, is meant to be. I love life too much to dwell on things beyond my control, and at the same time I need to say this. Yesterday I grieved for something that was lost (and contemplated whether or not inaction was better than action), and unknowing of the situation at hand, quotes such as this started to appear from my dear friends. It reassures me that we all need to look in the mirror when we say hateful, hurtful things to people, make me see I'm better off with those who care than those who put on an act to your face.
'Often people we encounter, love, befriend, etc are placed in our lives to be that mirror of self. For a season or longer,while we criticize them for how they treat us, it is never really about them and their shortcomings.. it is about us, our shortcomings and our decisions. Take this opportunity to be the person you C...~ P.H.D'

Saturday, January 2, 2010

January 01, 2010

The day started off with a bang-6 am wake up!
The weather was beautiful, so we piled into the minivan for a spontanuous trip to the National Sequoia Forest. I was not sure about chain requirements, but the weather was clear, and we figured a change of scenery was needed. The 1 1/2 hour trip went by fast, and the boys were busy looking at the change of scenery and talking amongst themselves. I got to show Robert the place where I took the boys last summer. It was crazy how fast the water was going, and how high the water level was. It was awe inspiring.

Matthew thought it would be fun to lift a boulder-ha!

The kids had fun playing in the sandy cove, Robert had fun w/ Elijah, and the boys loved watching the water gush through the mountainside

Half way to the sequioas (and already in the Sequoia National Park), tire chains became a requirement. We don't have any, so we pulled over to an outlook and let the boys see the snow, and look around. Robert talked to some people surveying the land, and learned of a new project to widen the road to make it safer for people traveling through the road. Believe me, after driving 2 hours on the twisty windy roads, I was glad to hear about this project!

By the time we got done hiking, the kids were done, but I wanted to check out another path. R stayed at the foot of a path, and I walked a minute into it to see if it was anything we should check out. It was, and I took a few pictures that caught my eye. The kids had other plans-to be super tired, and I decided we saw enough for one day.

The drive home was quiet, and I loved the twisty roads, if only for the clear weather and good road conditions. Everyone slept on the way home, and I saw some places I want to go back to-and I'm sure we will in the months ahead. I'm so glad we bought the year pass to the National Forests, and R's game for heading out.

The rest of the day was spent at home, with a late lunch and movie. I enjoyed a nap, and a late walk with the kids around the neighborhood.

Off to bed at a decent hour for all of us; it was a relaxing, fun family day.