Author Archive


February 20, 2011

this sweet child turns three today.

some expressions just haven’t changed . . .

happy birthday sweet kellen!


first project of the year

January 1, 2011

it has been over a year in the making, but today i finished knitting a blanket for jay. it was supposed to be for christmas last year, but ended up being for new year’s day! 1.1.11 and DONE!

this project came about after i had knitted a blanket for kellen for her first christmas back in 2008.

although i enjoy knitting i’m not that good at it.  i’d really love to learn how to knit beanies. (even crochet would be swell.) my aunt pat was a fantastic crochet and knitter, so i miss that she’s not here to show me how. it is amazing how much i can find on you tube. as i was finishing jay’s blanket, i realized i couldn’t quite remember how to bind off. so i google searched and found a great you tube video that showed me! awesome.

so the new year is starting off great with a finished project under my belt already!

Annual Christmas “Carol”-ing

December 23, 2010

Mike popping in for a guest post here . . .

Every year, I meet up with my good friend and fellow Apple Distinguished Educator, Carol Anne McGuire, to record a Christmas Carol for our friends and family (check out past efforts here and here and be patient, takes a moment to buffer these audio files).

This year, we tackled the early 90’s classic Mariah Carey song “All I Want for Christmas is You“. Enjoy!

If you’re interested, you can grab our entire five-year discography here – choose the “Singing with Friends” folder to view the files by year. Click on the photo below to take you to the audio.

non student day!

December 9, 2010

since jay had a day off on wednesday, grandma arranged for us to enjoy disneyland. here are some of the highlights.

room makeover

October 3, 2010

Jay’s room make over is complete. Here are the before pictures:

Here are the during pictures. I don’t know why, but I picked the week Mike was in Colorado to start this project. But with a little babysitting help from Papa and Grandma, I prepped, painted 2 coats, and rearranged all Jay’s furniture.  Prior to even starting the room work, I purged ALL his clothes, books, and toys so that the only things in his room were current.

And now . . . the new room!

For the most part everything is done. I’m just looking for a few “finishing touches” like a new bedside lamp, and something to put over the head of the bed.  Overall I’m pleased with how it turned out, and more importantly, Jay loves how it turned out.

Goodbye little boy . . . hello bigger boy!

field trip

May 7, 2010

Today Jay’s class took a field trip to the Heritage Museum with a tour of the Kellogg house. The class has been studying what life was like a hundred years ago. I was so glad to go on Jay’s first big field trip of his school career. Sure they walked to the local high school in first grade to see a play, and they also took a bus tour of Brea to see sculptures. But this was an all day truly educational field trip. I had never heard of this museum or house, and let me tell you, I was impressed. What a little gem of a place. Our docent was fabulous and the kids got to do so many things. They played the pump organ, piano, tried out the phone, made butter then tasted it, washed clothes in a bucket then ran it though the wringer, made a paper quilt square, played with “old” toys, and watched a blacksmith demonstration! I know –  awesome!

There were five of us moms on the trip, and yes, I was “that” mom that took tons of photos. I even had one of the other 2nd graders take this picture of me and Jay on the bus getting ready to go.

Trying out the pump organ.

Wringing out those wet clothes.

Watching the blacksmith demonstrate some of his trade.

Here’s the class at 1:30pm just before heading back to school. Yep, this is when my headache started and I totally needed protein or coffee or both. But really I was so glad to be there.

And by the way, Jay’s favorite part was watching the blacksmith make a nail and demonstrate branding.

observations at the park

April 20, 2010

Poor Kellen.

Being the second child she has not gone to the park nearly as much as her brother did. I have all these cute pictures of Jay at various ages enjoying the park, but poor Kellen has maybe one picture at the park on a swing when she was almost a year old.

So this morning while Jay was at school, I decided Kellen needed some time outside at the park. We packed ourselves up and headed to my favorite park about a mile and a half away. As soon as we got there she took off running towards the play area. She had a great time swinging, climbing, sliding, running, hanging, jumping and exploring.

One thing I like about this particular park is there are always people around. I think one of the loneliest things is being at a park with your kid and NO ONE else is around. I prefer being at a park where there are other moms and kids, as if it is a “hot spot.”

Being at the park alone (just me and Kellen, none of my girlfriends) gives me the opportunity to observe all the other moms and their friends. It seems that the park culture consists of groups of moms that all know each other, and a few smatterings of moms by themselves with their children. It was so interesting to listen in on conversations, and quietly compare or judge other moms.

Yes, I admit it, I judged other moms at the park. When I hear a mom tell her daughter she can’t go on the “high slide” because it is too big, and her daughter is at least two years older than my kid and my kid has been down it 4 times already, it makes me think, “geesh mom, let your kid have fun on the “high slide.” Or when I hear another mom tell her girl not to dig in the dirt because there are worms, and its dirty, and there are germs. Germs? Really? That’s what you want to teach your kid?  Isn’t getting dirty and exploring nature part of being at the park?

But then I had to take a look at myself and wonder what other moms might be thinking about me, if they even noticed. I’m sure people could have had a lot of interesting thoughts directed my way. I am in now way perfect at this mom thing. I really don’t know the whole story of the other moms situations. Maybe these moms have had experiences that have made them cautious with their kids. Whatever the case, it was quite entertaining to observe all that the park culture had to offer today. All I really know for sure is that my kid had a blast, got dirty, went on the “high slide”, fell down a ladder that I got to just a tad too late, (but got right back on the ladder). Then she ate a really good lunch and had a really good nap that would have gone on longer if I didn’t have to wake her up to go get her brother at school.

Here she is on the swing for the first time at 10 months old.

Here she was today at 2 years old.

light saber, please

April 17, 2010

Last night I took the kids to meet up with Papa and Grandma at California Adventure. (Mike is in San Jose.) We wanted to go see the electric parade before it goes away (again) this weekend. The kids have never seen the parade, so we got there early to stake out our spot. Papa, Grandma and Jay went to ride Toy Story Mania, while Kellen and I saved our places. She enjoyed watching all the people and lights while eating cheerios and raisins.

Papa bought Jay a light up light saber. Of course, Jay was showing us (and everyone else) all his best moves. Can you see what’s coming??? Yep, that’s right. Little missy girl LOVED the light saber too. They did well taking turns with it for awhile, but finally we sent Jay over to the light saber cart to buy one for her too.

John and Cheryl were sporting their electric parade jackets.

Here’s my boy enjoying the parade. He loved waving at all the characters. Little Miss K enjoyed the parade too, just as long as the twirly bugs stayed away from us. They both fell asleep in the car ride home. By the time I unloaded the car, got both kids changed into jammies (think dead weight) it was just after 11pm. That’s when this tired mama zonked out praying that everyone would sleep in! Thanks Grandma & Papa for letting us join the fun.


April 15, 2010

Last week Jay was on spring break. Mike really wanted to take him to the snow and go skiing. So last Thursday they left the house at dark thirty and headed to Snow Valley. Jay loved his lessons and loved skiing with his Dad the rest of the day. The part I thought was the most hilarious was the fact that Mike was so sore. I mean really sore. He even popped his knee while trying on the boots to rent. I don’t know what it says about me, but I thought this little detail was so funny. I mean really funny. He has recovered, and is now back to walking normally.

Note to self  . . . or Mike. Next time Jay goes skiing, make sure he wears long socks and not his normal ankle socks. Poor guy had scrapes from his boots on his shins. But the little trooper didn’t complain a bit.


April 9, 2010

The best part about turning 40 was having my twin sister come visit from Texas to celebrate together! Here’s to a new decade.