Saturday, November 10, 2012

pictures from here and there

It's been too long since my last post, so this will be my photo dump of things I haven't been able to blog about, or just plain forgot!
 I just adore the picture above. The story behind it: Jack had a paper come home from his teacher with information about his benchmarks and what he still needed to work on. One thing that caught my eye was that Jack, when he counted to 20, would forget 15! It was so cute, but obviously not something we wanted him to continue to do. So for about two days we set out to ENGRAIN 15 into his head. Even my dad stopped by for coffee one morning and helped, and that's when I snapped this photo. And I love it. As I recently said on my facebook page, I'm so glad my kids have genuine, unique relationships with each of their four grandparents, and even their great grandparents. I will always remember my dad helping me help Jack get 15. :) Thanks dad.
 This is just a snapshot of Ginger, Sidney's favorite LPS toy. We ALL love Ginger, and we have all been caught up in the peril of Ginger being lost at one point or another. It's stressful. We all know that when Sidney LOVES something, she LOVES something, and so the entire family helps her when she's in need. It's very sweet. But at the time, when Ginger is lost, there's a sense of panic that flows through all of us, especially Sid, and it is SUCH a relief to find Ginger and see Sidney's body go from tense to calm. When I saw Ginger just hanging out on this dress of Alyssa's, which had been thrown off so she could jump in a pool, I just had to take a shot of it. Nothing like KNOWING WHERE GINGER IS! :)
 I finally got to take family photos of my DEAR friend Marti and her family. This was just one of the shots I thought was kinda cool looking. They were VERY fun and easy to photograph. And I think we went to about four or five locations. It was a blast, and made me realize once again how much I love taking family photos.
Jack and I helping out at a golf tournament. This was after my portion of the job was finished, and we got to hop into a golf cart and drive around the golf course taking candid photos of the players. SO much fun. Jack and I LOVE golf carts.
 Here we are, Jack and I, putting together the Playmobil house he and Alyssa saved their money up to buy. I was so proud of them, and I LOVe to put things together, but OH MY GOODNESS did it stink to have to put this thing together! So many pieces, and soooooo much time! At the end of a long day. but it's beautiful, and I secretly want to play in it and rearrange the rooms all the time. I love kids' toys.
 This is just a snapshot of a breakfast outside, only possible because my kids start school so late in the morning these days. We have so much extra time each morning, it's wonderful.
 Here's a snapshot of Sid's room one day, as she was delving into all the National Geographic magazines my Great Aunt Inge handed down to her. She LOVES them! I love to see her going on little expeditions in her imagination because of what she has read in these magazines.
 A shot from my phone during our last day of our camping trip to Leo Carillo beach in Malibu. I just loved the group of crazy sweethearts in this picture.
 Another phone shot of my new favorite bread in the world - the pretzel slider buns from Costco bakery. Yum. Lucky agrees. When he gets a hold of one, he hides it. Usually we find it a few days later, all crusty, in our laundry baskets. Oh, Lucky.
 Another shot from Leo Carillo beach, with Alyssa pointing out the opening of the cave where the water comes in from the waves!
Yet another phone shot - Sid used some charcoal to write this out on the side of the fire pit at our campground. I love California, too!
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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

one of my fears - just one for now

I read a blog today that had a list of 30 questions to answer - I think it was geared either as a "post these answers on your own blog" or a "go on a date and ask your date these questions." Either way they were cute and reminded me of my friend Kelly, who likes to ask questions like these when she has guests.
One of the questions involved fears. What are some of your fears and why?
Mine? If you know me, you know one of my greatest fears is an earthquake. Not just a quake, but a BIG quake, although the littles scare me quite a bit, too.
It's not the shaking so much. It's the logistics. Where will I be in relation to the people who I will need to save from some cavernous hole, or shards of glass flying, or falling ceiling chunks? Who will I go to first? What if that mirror on the stairs breaks and the kids can't walk past it? What if that particular window breaks and we have to crawl over broken glass? What if my pantry is crushed and I can't get food? What if my garage is stuck and I can't get my car out? What if that big bookcase comes down and crushes someone? What if I can't find a good triangle of life for us to hide in?
I have a husband who would be needed if there was a large quake. If he was here, he'd have to leave. If he wasn't here, he wouldn't be coming home anytime soon. So it scares me to think I'd have to be alone with my kids while I'm scared myself! Will bravery just kick in? I hope so.
I also think about how it relates to school. I was recently telling an equally earthquake-aphobe friend that as I pass under the NUMEROUS power lines to get to my kids school, I frequently think to myself "oh man, these are going down, and how will I get across them? Little wooden shoes? Okay, put those in my emergency bucket."
Honestly, power lines are scary!
I'm not scared of scary movies. I'm not scared of being home alone. I'm scared of the CHANCE of an earthquake.
And for most of my life I KNOW it has been a very irrational fear. Not that it can't happen, but how SCARED I get myself is fully irrational.
And that's when I have to remind myself, "self, snap out of it. You know God doesn't want you to worry, doesn't want you to fear and sit thinking about the unknown. Take care of what you have today and are building for tomorrow without thinking of the outrageous and extreme possibilities." And that's good to remind myself of, or I could go crazy. Or I could go crazy more often.
I wonder if I will pass this on (or already have) to my kids. They KNOW I'm scared of EQs, but they don't seem to be nearly on my level.
They're more scared of losing a favorite toy or not wearing something that matches their friend at school. :)
Anyway, so of all my fears, that's one of my greatest, in that I think of it most often. I truly think of earthquakes daily. I think i wake up thinking about them, and fall asleep thinking about them, and I'm not sure where I got it.
I do think it's crazy that I happened to purchase a parcel of the earth that is right on a big huge fault line.
I can't even THINK of what else I'm scared of anymore. Now I'm all worked up. Gonna go get batteries in my flashlight.
 

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Thursday, August 23, 2012

naming humans is fun


Pioneer Woman's recent blog got me thinking about my own choices for baby names - I'm not pregnant. I probably won't ever be again, and that's okay, but when the people around you continue to have babies, or start to have their first babies, and then you look at your babies and the youngest of your litter is 5, you get a little jolt of wanting another baby. By you, I mean I.

Anyway, PW made two little blog posts about her favorite baby names right now.
My sister in law will have a baby boy Kaden in a few months. My other sister in law is pregnant but it's fairly early, so we'll see what they decide. My older sister got to name 8 different humans - she's so lucky, that's a lot of naming, she could have run out! I got to name 3, and I do think it's a fun job!

So, other than the first names of MY kids and their middle names, Mae, Michael and Elise, which I think are wonderful and perfect and my favorites forever, here are my current favorite names that would be in the running if I found myself in a situation where I'd be needing to name another human:

Girls (always way easier for me):
Indiana ( so I could call her "Indy")
Heidi
Marnie
Marcie
Bridget (so I could call her "Gidget," of course)
Holly
Jenna
Claudia (so I could call her "Cloudy," of course)

Boys:
Russell (so I could call him "Rush," of course)
Vaughn
Walker (even though that sounds horrible with our last name)
Cole
Reid
Grant

And that finishes the lamest post I've ever written. Thanks PW. Why am I even thinking about this?

Because names are fun. And even though my kids think their names should be changed to Helen, Heidi and Jake, I think I did a pretty good job on theirs. They seem to fit them perfectly. :)

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Friday, July 13, 2012

on tv

You know when you're watching a game on TV (or pretending to pay attention to a game that your husband is watching on TV) and you see those people waving into the camera behind the batter, on the phone, obviously talking to loved ones who can see them on TV? Well, now I get it. Bobby brought Sidney to a game about two weeks ago and called to tell me about the seats they relocated to toward the end of the game. I turned it on, and there they were, right behind the score graphic! See them? Right behind the red Cincinnati score? Pay no mind to the score. I'm sure the Dodgers came back and whooped them 54 to 8 or something. :)

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Friday, July 06, 2012

packing babies

I loved this look on Al's face when she saw that we noticed all she was trying to sneak into the car to bring to Grandma's:

 And I love her happy look when we said "okay, then, you can bring them." She's so happy to have her babies tag along. Three dolls and a double stroller up to Grandma's. Those are her necessities when she packs.
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Sunday, July 01, 2012

jedi training


I am SO glad we waited and got Jack into the Jedi Training at Disneyland a few weeks ago. My goodness was it cute. So we told Jack to REALLY step up his cuteness a few notches (it's not hard...he just smiled and waved his hand a lot) and the guys chose him first from the crowd, as they were looking for about 30 little kiddos to train. Here are some of my favorite photos from that Disneyland trip....the one right before our passes expired. Sad face.






And a few of Grandma Mary riding Big Thunder Mountain with the kids.


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what would I have done?

I had a big job this week of putting lots of photos on my external hard drive. I don't know what happened, or how, or when, but yesterday when I looked for specific photos from last month, which should have simply been in the "June2012" folder on my external hard drive, that folder didn't exist. I panicked a little. Then I looked for June2011 and that didn't exist either. Every folder that had the year 2011 or 2012 in the title was gone. That's two years of photos. And if you know me at all, I take a LOT of photos. In the folder where some folders were missing, there are a total of more than 117,000 photos. With at least a third or more missing, I could have lost tens of thousands of photos.
Two years. Two years ago my kids were 3, 6 and 8. Imagine the things that have happened since they were that age. School things. Summer things. Holiday things. Silly things. Candid things. Planned things. My heart ached.
But today my sweet friend Andrea's husband FIXED IT FOR ME! Over the phone! What he had me do took HOURS (of the computer sounding like it was going to take off like a helicopter) but it was the kind of computer stuff I could walk away from, I just let it sit there and fix itself for hours....literally - from 9:30 a.m. to about 2:45 p.m. - that's how long it took for the computer to repair whatever happened to this 750 GB hard drive! Yikes.
I had tried all I could do without wanting to mess anything up more, and I needed JP. He came through and it feels SO good to see those two years of photos back in my list of folders. Ahhhh. HUGE sigh of relief. JP will surely have plenty of hugs coming his way when I see him this week.
So once the folders were in existence again, I had to look through the pictures of what could have been lost. What would I have done without these?





I would have been so sad.

Thanks JP. You're the biggest, most helpful nerd on the planet. I am so grateful that my best friend married YOU. What if she had married some guy that I had no use for at all?
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Wednesday, June 06, 2012

cherry picking and orchard snooping

Cherries from my parents' orchard are ripe so my mom called us over to pick some. I'm obsessed with her orchard and the flowers around it so I brought my camera. These are just simple scenes from cherry picking today.

Cherries! I think that's one of the prettiest colors in the world! When I say my favorite color is RED, that's the red I mean!

Strawberries - teeny, but OH so good!



Mirabellen - not yet ripe, but can't wait!

Apricots

Lots of apricots

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Sunday, June 03, 2012

i wonder

Every once in a while I say something and after it's come out of my mouth I wonder, "has anyone else ever said those exact words?" Of course, they probably have, but at the moment the phrase seems so strange.
Like today in the car, when I realized the kids had rolled their windows down, we were almost home, and I figured I'd go ahead and use all four controls there at my fingertips and roll up all the windows.....and suddenly, a scream. And I looked, and had to say "Sidney, I'm so sorry I just rolled your head up in the window!"
She was fine, first of all. Scared, but fine. In a second we were laughing.
But yes, it appears that as soon as we got off the freeway, she had stuck her head out the window like a little doggy would. I have never seen her do that. But she did. And since I'd never expect any of my kids would be doing that, especially from the back seat where the windows don't even roll down all the way, because of the rear wheel well in my Tahoe.
Anyway, that was just one.
Years ago I said another thing and wondered "has anyone EVER said this?"
And it was: "Please stop poking baby Jesus in the eye."
Yup. That time Alyssa was playing with a music box at Christmas time and every time the manger scene made a rotation, she'd poke her three-year-old finger in the manger and say "I POKE baby Jesus in the eye...I POKE baby Jesus in the eye." It was strange. Even thought it was sorta cute and she was saying it in an adorable way, I had to put a halt to it.
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Friday, May 25, 2012

bird watching and gardening

If I had a job I would retire from, yesterday morning reminded me of future retirement.
All kids were at school, which only happens two days a week, husband was at home, but asleep. So I felt home alone.
There's a birdhouse in the backyard, built by my grandpa - it's a duplex. On the first floor, there's a wasp family happily residing. Ick. On the second floor, two sweet birds have built a nest and there's a baby, at least one, in there!

The kids and I know this because we see the mom and dad (the dad bird is pretty blue and reddish, the mom bird, pictured above, is the uglier less colorful version of the dad bird,which is so unfair, I think!) flying to and fro all day long. They leave and head the same direction, to some worm farm apparently, because they come back all the time with worms wiggling in their mouths, then fly into the small hole my grandpa made in the upper apartment building of the birdhouse.

So without kids home to witness, I got really close to the birdhouse yesterday. They've been warned NOT to. I told them if they get too close, their scent will stick to the birdhouse, and however sweet their scent is, birds don't like it, and they might move away. That encouraged a warning in chalk on the fence next to the birdhouse, written by Sidney. But I have a nice scent that won't stick to anything, so I'm allowed. I'm the mom, with special privileges.

So I got really close to the birdhouse yesterday, without touching it, but close enough to hear little tiny noises, but far enough to be away from the other hole in case wasps came out to bite or sting me. I even saw a little outline of a birdie mouth, but it's really dark in that birdhouse, so I didn't see much. Just enough to know there's at least ONE baby bird in there.

And I love baby birds.

As much as I wanted to squeeze my hand through the tiny hole and grab the baby bird and raise it as my own, I didn't. I left it alone. For a few minutes, until I found my camera, and then tried to figure out a way I could take pictures of it but it's too dark. So I backed off.

And I let mom and dad bird take over again, and they're doing quite well at it. According to my calculations, in the 30 minutes I sat outside bird watching and taking photos of all sorts of things, that baby bird was visited more than 10 times by its mom and dad, each with worms in their mouths. That's a lot of food. Those parents are busy.
Bird watching is more fun than I thought. And very relaxing. I just wish it didn't make me want to look at that baby bird again, or want to hold it.

From there, I looked around my yard, looking for things to photograph with my new camera, a Canon 60D, which I love, but I'm still getting used to. It's got far different buttons and stuff than my Rebel xti, which is what I was just using before it.
I spotted the mini roses my mom gave me for Mother's Day a few years ago. Several years ago, actually! I planted them outside in my yellow daily bus thing and they just trail all over the place. For mini roses, they get around! I cut them off the bush yesterday and made a cute little bouquet of them for my kitchen window.



And that is what I call gardening. (I have a gardener, so I don't have too much else to do around here other than bird watch and take credit for how the baby bird is raised and how great my mini roses grow.)
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