Field Trip

February 28, 2007 at 11:31 pm (Uncategorized)

The kids and I went to the Mountains today for a field trip.



Here is the field trip gang!

The Park Ranger did a class for the kids all about rocks and fossils.

We went out to an area called Fossil Hill and got to hunt for fossils to examine.


The kids were very happy because there were snow flurries off and on the whole time we were there.

(Obviously we don’t see snow much!  LOL)

On the way out we got up close and personal with some very friendly donkeys! 
(I think the donkeys were a little upset I wasn’t rolling down the window to let them in!)

It was a fun day!

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Moving…

February 27, 2007 at 10:17 am (Uncategorized)

One thing that has made moving hard for me is that I have always wanted my kids to have the kind of stability that comes with living in one place for a long time.  We lived in 6 different houses in my 18 years of growing up.  Some were moves were just across town and the farthest was across the State.  But, the one thing I hated as a kid was starting over.  Whether it was at a new school, new neighborhood, a new church or a new girl scout troop, I always felt like the new kid.  When I got older and moved to California I can remember going to church and hearing people say things about having "grown up in this church" and feeling really envious.  I KNEW I wanted my kids to have that experience.  I NEVER planned on moving once I had kids.  EVER!  But, as I have learned over and over and over in my life, my plans NEVER pan out.  So here we are moving our kids again….This will be the 3rd State they have all lived in, even the 3 year old!

So, I have been trying to turn my thoughts to the positives of moving around...Here are a few I have come up with.

My kids are not attached to a house.  They like our house, but HOME is where our family is.  When I hear stories about grown ups who are upset with their parents for selling the family home I am dumbstruck.  I have just never felt a big attachment to a house.  My home is made of people, not places! The funny thing is when I think of home in terms of where my parents lived I always think of the final house my Mom and Dad lived in before my Dad died.  I actually never lived in that house!  It was a great house though and I loved going to see them there and I have so many fond memories of that house.  (And NO I was NOT upset when my Mom sold it!  LOL)

My kids have experienced different cultures.  Now we have not lived outside the USA, but I can tell you having lived in 3 different States and eight different towns/cities that each one has it’s own culture.  From the foods that are eaten to the way people act.  My kids know this because they have lived in different places, eaten different foods and had different experiences depending on where we have lived.

My kids have learned how to fit in.  As much as I don’t like being the new person all the time, I can walk into any room and make myself comfortable.  I am at ease introducing myself and talking to new people.  My kids are too.  My 3 year old managed to introduce our entire family today while we traveled 1 floor in an elevator!  LOL  These kids have learned how to fit in and make themselves known to those around them.

My kids will be great AWANA leaders some day!  I know this one seems odd…But we have been involved with 5 Awana clubs in 10 years! I frequently hear my kids say things like, I love the game time here, but I think the way they handled "XZY" was better in California!  LOL   The truth of this lesson is…there is not one "right" way to do something!  AWANA is very similar all across America, but each club has it’s own personality based on the people who run it.  This is true about many things in life. 

My kids are not afraid of new experiences.  My kids are actually excited about moving again!  They know that they will meet fun knew people and go fun new places.  Instead of dreading the unknown they look forward to it!  Talk about making lemonade when life gives you lemons!

My kids know you can’t judge a book by it’s cover!  The place we are currently living is the last place on in America I ever wanted to live!  I came here kicking and screaming and assuring anyone who would listen that this was NOT a good place for my family!  My kids knew I didn’t want to be here!  You know what happened?  We have met really great people and had some wonderful experiences!  I am still not completely comfortable with the City, but I have learned soooooo much about myself and been forced to trust God in ways I never should have imagined 3 years ago! 

My kids know Rome wasn’t built in a day!  Unfortunately we all know that it takes time to adjust to a new place.  Out of all 17 times I have moved in my life I have only moved one place that I fit in immediately!  (Ah…Woodland, California!  My home sweet home!)  All the others have taken at least 2 years to feel like home.  (Of course we have established in another post that I have moved on the average of  every 3 years…sooooo…I am used to not feeling at home much!  LOL) 

My kids know that siblings will always be with you!  The one thing I learned quickly when I was a kid was that my sister was my forever friend!  Yeah, we fought.  But she was always there!  I had friends at all the houses we lived in and am still friends with many of them…But, once we moved I was away from them.  Back then we didn’t have things like unlimited long distance, email, instant messaging, etc.  Once you left a house the people you use to see everyday went on with their lives and I went on to build a new life.  But, I always had my sister!  Yes, my kids drive each other crazy, but they have history and many, many, many hours spent together.

My kids know that sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do!  LOL  Although there were times when I was a kid that I felt like my parents were just moving to torture me, I truly always knew they were just doing what need to be done.  Whether it was for a job opportunity or a better neighborhood there were always underlying reasons for the move that I just had to accept.  The same goes for my kids.  I have heard them tell each other "Do you like eating?  Well, then we have to go where the job is!"  Huh, I wonder where they ever heard such a thing?  LOL

My kids have learned to find the positive in things.  As I look back to all the places I have lived there are none of them that I now wish I had skipped!  I have friends in each and every place and great memories too.  I have learned that no matter where you live there will be good and bad things and you might as well enjoy the good and ignore the bad.  It makes life a lot happier!  My kids know this too.  One of the things we all hate about where we live is the heat in the Summer.  I mean it is REALLY HOT!  I heard my son saying the other day "The Summers are awful, but the rest of the year the weather is great, so I guess it’s a trade off!" 

I know that probably by now no one is still reading this!  LOL  But, this has been very thereaputic for me to write.  I still have those little twinges of wishing I could have raised my kids in one place.  It especially find this true at church,  it seems so comfortable to grow up in the same familiar body of Christ…..

But, the truth is God did not promise me that life would be comfortable.  He never told me life would be easy.  He never promised to make me feel at home here on earth!  He just promised that no matter where I live on this earth He would be with me! 

…be content with such things as you have.  For He Himself has said,
"I will never leave you or forsake you."
Hebrews 13:5

So until I get to my "real" home in heaven with Him I will just have to continue to trust Him!  I will have to let go of my fears, guilt and twinges of envy for life on the other side of the non moving fence.  I will have to continue to learn that the lessons He has to teach me cannot be taught in the ways I think they should.  I will have to continue to live life where ever He sends me.

Of course, a part of me will always be hoping that the next move will be our last!

In case anyone was wondering…
My oldest child has lived in 5 houses in 12 years
My middle child has lived in 3 houses in 6 years.
My youngest child has lived in 3 houses in 3 years.
I have lived in 14 houses in 42 years….

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Photo Shoot

February 27, 2007 at 12:23 am (Uncategorized)

I am taking my kids to get pictures taken tomorrow!

I might as well confess, I am obsessed with getting Studio pictures taken of my kids!  The 1st year of each of their lives I took them once a month for Studio pictures.  Then for years I took them each year on their birthdays and got pictures.  Let’s see that’s 12 X 3 + approx. 15 = at least 51 times in 12 years!  I think that qualifies me to give some tips on taking your kids to the Studio for pictures!  LOL

1.  Sign up for everyones online coupons.  Target, Sears, Penney’s, Picture People, etc.  The more coupons the better.  Some times you can get them for next to nothing.  (The coupon I have right now for Target is no sitting fee and $3.99 a sheet or $7.99 for a portrait package!)

2.  Call and schedule the 1st appointment of the day.  This way they can’t get behind and you won’t have to wait.  There is nothing more miserable than getting the kids all dressed up and ready for pictures and then watching them fall apart before you even meet the photographer.   I no longer get pictures on everyones birthdays.  Now I do all three kids near my daughters birthday.  The reason?  Late February is not a big picture taking time.  This makes for better coupons and less crowds.  My youngest son was born Dec. 15th, I did pictures for his birthday for the 1st 2 years and then decided he would be just as cute in February!  LOL

3.  Keep the clothing simple.  Pick a color and dress the kids all in the same color.  (The kids are all wearing white tomorrow.)  I frequently have my kids go barefoot since it is highly unlikely they all have nice looking new shoes at the same time.  (They will be barefoot tomorrow.)

4.  Get haircuts  done a few days in advance.  A haircut rarely looks great on day two!  LOL (I blew this one this time…2 of mine got haircuts today!  LOL  Not to mention my youngest has the last remainders of his black eye and fell today and got a fat lip!  Oh well, with that kid we would not recognize him without some kind of bump or bruise!)

5.  Feel free to bribe them!  LOL  I usually have some kind of treat in store for them like ice cream after the photo shoot. 

6.  Don’t be afraid to tell the photographer what you want.  If I don’t like a pose or prop I tell them.  If you don’t like the way it looks in the studio you are not going to like the picture any better.

7.  Blow.  If you have a kid who has trouble conjuring up a natural smile have them blow the fake smile away.  For some reason when they blow it helps relax the face and helps them regroup to try to smile again.  (Then tel a joke or something to get a good laugh out of them.

8.  Be patient.  This is the hardest part for me.  Getting 3 kids to smile and sit still at the same time I have no real tips for!  Hopefully you will get a good photographer.

9. If only have one shot at it go to the Picture People!  One thing I have learned is that even thought they show you a picture on the screen for various reasons you may not get that pic when they print them.  There can be a spot on the lense, bad focus, etc.  I have had this happen 3 times at Wal-Mart! I don’t go to Wal-Mart anymore.  The Picture People you get your actually pictures 1 hour after they take them.  If they are bad you can get them shot again.  (I have never had bad pictures at Picture People. )  Whenever I have had picture of my kids taken with their cousins who live across Country we have gone to the Picture People.  I also did most of my kids 1st year monthly pics there.  The down side is they are expensive. 

10.  Have Fun!  I have a lot of funny memories from all the times we have had pictures taken.  I can easily get stressed out taking them, but when I think back all these photo shoots have been a lot of fun!

I will let you know when we get the pictures back how it went! 

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My Girl

February 26, 2007 at 12:12 am (Uncategorized)

Today was my daughters 6th Birthday!


How can she be 6? 

I wish I could slow time down and keep her little forever!  Long hair to comb and braid, cute clothes to buy, sweet cuddles and snuggles, words she still occasionally mispronounces (Mercicle for Commercial and Mama-aise for Mayonnaise are my 2 favs! LOL) , she still looks at me with awe and thinks that her dad and I are the most amazing people on earth. Sigh….

Here are some pictures from the birthday festivities!

Ready to party at Build A Bear!

Building a bear! (Well, actually a cat!)

Our Family after the party.

My favorite staircase!

Lots of presents!
Doesn’t she look natural in that tiara?

The race is on….who can blow out the candle 1st???

Hanging out with her new friend!

Happy, Happy Birthday my little GEM!  Now, slow down that growing up!

  Mommy

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No More Cake PLEASE!!!

February 25, 2007 at 11:26 pm (Uncategorized)

Don’t get me wrong, I love cake….But, PLEASE no more cake!  LOL

I already posted pictures of the sleepover cake we made for our Valentines sleepover.  That was Feb. 14th. (BTW, if you think Twinkies are tasty…You should try them iced!  LOL)

Then on the 19th we had my daughters birthday party a few days early.  We had her party at Build A Bear Workshop so we had to make a bear cake.

Then my birthday was the 21st, we had a carrot cake with candles that spelled out HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Notice my 3 year old over on the side of the picture blowing out MY candles!  LOL (This kid is a candle hog!  Did I mention that at the Messianic Hanukkah Party we went to the night after his birthday as soon as the candle was lit in the menorah he ran up and blew it out!  I was soooo embarased!)

Today was my daughters "real" birthday and she wanted a princess castle cake.

This was a really fun cake to make.  We baked 3 square cakes and 1 cupcake. (It took 2 cake mixes.)  Then we stacked up the 3 cakes and put the cupcake on top.  We iced the whole thing white.  Then we added the sugar cones for the turrets & a graham cracker drawbridge.  We decorated the whole thing with pink sugar and canned spray on icing. The flags are cut from marblized construction paper and taped to tooth picks.  I did end up hot gluing on the flags.  I let the kids spray all the pink icing on the back of the castle for fun, then I remembered I needed icing to put the flags on.  Oooops!    Voila! 

So, that is 4 cakes in 11 days!  We still have leftovers of the Teddy Bear, Carrot Cake and Castle Cake…Would anyone tell if I throw it all away?

(BTW,  I got the basis ideas for each of these cakes from the Family Fun website.)

Thank goodness the next birthday in our family is in August! 

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Flowers

February 24, 2007 at 8:03 pm (Uncategorized)

My daughters birthday is tomorrow, four days after mine.  My sweet husband sent us flowers today! 

Calling Dad to say thanks!

Of course the cat has to check them out!  LOL

I never got flowers from my husband until my daughter came along.  From the time she was old enough to say "flowers" she would beg daddy to buy them for me every time they would go to the store together or for any special occasion.  In my husbands defense he had a good reason NOT to buy me flowers…It all goes back to 18 years ago when we were 1st married….

One day shortly after we were married my husband stopped and bought me flowers on the way home from work.  It was so sweet, no special occasion, it was just because!  Well, when he brought them home I had to put them in some water.  Since we were newly married I didn’t have a vase, so I grabbed a big cup from the cabinet.  I put the water in the cup and added the little package of preservative.  For some reason at this point I thought of some other glass cup I had that I thought would look better and got it out.  I arranged the flowers in the cup, added water and went to set them out to look beautiful.  A little while later I got thristy.  I went into the kitchen and saw the glass of water on the counter.  Thinking I should not waste water I added some ice and some instant ice tea mix to the water and started drinking.  A few minutes later as I was finishing the tea my mouth started burning….Suddenly I remembered the preservative pack!  YIKES!!! What had I been drinking???   I really didn’t want to tell my husband!  Well, I finally told him and he decided to call the flower shop, who called and got us on the phone with the poision control hotline.  I will never forget my husband telling the guy in the phone "It wasn’t a child, it was my wife that drank it!"  LOL  After quite a bit of time on the phone they finally decided that I was big enough that the preservative wouldn’t hurt me.  Well, when everything was finally over my husband looked at me and said "That’s it, no more flowers for you!  I try to do something nice and you go and try to kill yourself!"  LOL  He kept to his word  for more than 12 years until our daughter finally got him to buy me flowers again.  Now he makes sure they come in a vase!  LOL  We still to this day laugh about it every time flowers come into our house! 

It is NOT easy living with me!

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My Daddy Prays for Me

February 24, 2007 at 2:07 am (Uncategorized)

Steve over at Walden’s Wits posted this poem.  It blessed me so much I wanted to share it here also.

My Daddy Prays for Me

When Daddy prays the house gets still
His voice is slow and deep
We shut our eyes, the clock ticks loud
So quiet we must keep.

When Daddy prays he doesn’t use
The words the preacher does.
He prays for lots of different things,
But mostly it’s for us.

His prayers get awful log sometimes
And hard to understand.
So I just wiggle up quite close
And let him hold my hand.

I can’t remember all of it;
I’m little yet, you see.
But there’s one thing I can’t forget:
My daddy prays for me.

Author Unknown


Whenever my husband is away from home I try to call him every night so he can say prayers with the kids.  Sometimes I get tired of doing it and and just want to pop them in bed and forget about the phone call.  This poem really drove home to me how important those nightly prayers with Dad can be! Not to mention how lucky I am that I have a husband who prays with our kids!

Thanks Steve!

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Cute Pics – Tired Mom!

February 23, 2007 at 10:39 am (Uncategorized)

Here are some cute pictures from the last couple weeks that I have not been able to work in to any other post!  LOL

I walk into the kids room the other day and my 3 year old is asleep on the slide. (They have bunk beds with a slide attached.) I can relate sometimes to being tired enough to fall asleep while going about my day! 

I had to take this picture because not only did my little man insist on sleeping on the floor, but he had to wear one gold dress up glove that belongs to his sister to bed!  Like I mentioned above, I am tired, so I don’t argue much with things that will keep me awake! 

If you think he is cute on the ground….Look how cute he is in a tree!  Do you think the little Monkey knows he is cute?

Is it any wonder this busy little guy has a black eye?  This is what happens when you decide to ride a pillow down the above mentioned slide and hit the bedroom door.  (I was screaming STOP, STOP the whole time…But, temptation and gravity overtook him! LOL)

Of course the best way to hide that shiner is to borrow Mom’s Strawberry Shortcake Glasses!

It never ceases to amaze me how busy a 3 year old is!  No wonder his Mom is sooooo tired!

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Me at 42!

February 21, 2007 at 11:49 am (Uncategorized)

Today is the 21st anniversary of my 21st birthday! 

I am 42!

Here are 42 things about me on my 42nd birthday.

1.  I was born during a snowstorm…My parents barely made it to the hospital!  The doctor came to the hospital on snowshoes!

2.  I have 1 sibling…A sister who is older than me.

3.  The house we lived in when I was young was painted a bright turquoise color.  I cannot imagine anyone painting a house that color now.  But in the 1960s it was way trendy!

4.  It always seemed to snow on my birthday when I was growing up.  One year we had a blizzard and my birthday happened to be on a Sunday.  We ALWAYS went to Grandma’s on Sunday after church.  Somehow I convinced y parents to go to Grandma’s.  A week later we came home!  It was my best birthday ever!

5.  I DID not want to go to school when it was time to start Kindergarten.  I tortured my Mother by pretending to be sick and crying everyday!  She finally took me to the Doctor, who ran a lot of test and decided I was fine and just did not like school!   I think that is when I first decided i would homeschool my children.

6.  I remember my Mother’s 25th birthday!  I was 4.

7.  I had my 1st child at 29.

8.  I had my 2nd child at 36.

9  I had my final child at 39.

10.  My husband and I had not yet been married a year when I was 25!

11.  I was born in Kansas.

12.  I moved to Los Angeles when I was 22.  I LOVE LA!  I would still be there…But, we chose for me to be a stay at home mom and that is very difficult to afford in Los Angeles. 

13.  I worked at ABC Television from 1987 – 1994.  I loved working there.  I met some great people and had sooooooo much fun.  I quit when my 1st child was born.  During my time there I worked in Payroll, Personnel, Production Operations and Engineering & Broadcast Operations & Engineering.  Some of the shows I worked on were…Good Morning American,  The Home Show & America’s Funniest Videos.

14.  My husband and I got to go the Academy Awards one year. 

15.  My husband and I were married in 1989 in Las Vegas.

16. In 2004 we renewed our vows on our 15th Anniversary in Las Vegas.

17.  I do not like sports of any kind!

18.  My 1st job was at Target.  That is where I met my husband.

19.  I learned to sew when I was 8 years old.

20.  I nursed my 3 children for a combined total of 6 1/2 years.

21.  My 2 youngest children were born at home. 

22.  All my babies were BIG.  My 1st was 5 weeks early and weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces.  My 2nd was born on her due date and weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces.  My 3rd was 6 days late and weighed…..drum roll please…11 pounds 8 ounces!

23.  I have lived in 14 houses in my 42 years….And we are packing to move AGAIN!!!!  (That is an average of 3 years per house!)  I really don’t like moving, but somehow I keep doing it!

24.  I have lived in 3 States in my 42 years…And will be living in my 4th State soon!

25.  I decided to homeschool my kids when I was 18 and had just graduated from high school.  I heard a report on the news about homeschool and I was hooked!

26.  When I first  mentioned homeschooling to my husband he thought I was CRAZY!

27.  There have been days when I was homeschooling that I have thought I am crazy!  LOL  Just kidding!

28.  I like to iron. 

29.  I went to Interior Design College. 

30.  On my 30th Birthday I had a Tea Party with 2 of my best girlfriends.

31.  IKEA is my favorite store.

32.  I have 13 nieces and nephews.

33.  My husband and I will celebrate our 18th Anniversary this April.

34.  My favorite type of food is Thai.

35.  We eat a lot more Pizza than Thai food!  LOL

36.  I don’t like to cook.  (Don’t worry, I cook everyday! I just don’t like it!  LOL)

37.  I really don’t like to bake.  It stresses me out! 

38.  My favorite thing at Starbucks is a Chai Tea Latte.

39.  My favorite movie is Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat.  I love to turn it up loud and dance around the house singing to it with the kids!

40.  I laugh when I am stressed.

41.  My favorite perfume is Calyx.  It is the only perfume I ever wear since most scents bother me.  I wear it only on special occasions.

42.  The kids and I are baking a Carrot Cake for my birthday!  (It is from a box, so it will not stress me too bad!  LOL) 

Happy Birthday to me!!!!

What could make turning 42 more fun than sporting a pair of
Strawberry Shortcake glasses?

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Presidents Day Lapbook

February 17, 2007 at 7:19 pm (Uncategorized)

Monday, February 19 is President’s Day! Here are some ideas for a Presidents Day lapbook.

The WhiteHouseKids.gov website offers brief biographies of all U.S. Presidents. Print out the biographies and pictures of two U.S. Presidents who were born in the month of February:

(Note: Older students may enjoy the more detailed biographies here.)

More FREE Printables:

Listen to a song about Washington here.
Listen to a song about Lincoln here.

These suggestions came from the Feb. newsletter from http://www.carschooling.com

Here are some other goodies I have found:

Here is a patriotic mini book to print.

George Washington silhouette (This would make a great cover.)

My Book About Abe Lincoln (Free Mini Book to Print)

All About Presidents Minis Book

My Book About George Washington (Free Mini Book, must sign up for a 7 day free trial.)

Here are a bunch of Free printables for Presidents Day

Here are some cute craft ideas for President Day

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