Thursday, January 29, 2009


Robynn and Sondre Lyn passed along an Honest Scrap Award.
THANK YOU girls!

I am supposed to tell you 10 honest things.  About ME.
Whew, where do I begin?
This is a family friendly blog, so I'm not going to dig too incredibly deep.
But I'll try to keep it somewhat interesting and tell you a few things you may not already know.

1.  I watch General Hospital.
I started watching it with my Grandma when I was a kid.
I cannot justify why I spend an hour of every day watching a soap opera (actually it's only about 38 minutes, I Tivo it and skip through all the commercials), but it's my hour and I'm happy.
Ah ... the good ol' days of Luke and Laura ... to the present days of Johnny and Jason.
Honestly, can you see where I'm coming from?

2.  I learned how to curse in Spanish when I used to work at a small country market.
 Ironically, it was called Country Market.
My parents bought the store in 1980 and it became the location of my after school and summer job.  The majority of our customers were migrant farm workers.  Thus the vocabulary lessons.
It was hard work and long hours, but there were some fun times at that store.  
Even so, I can honestly say, I don't miss it.

3.  I met my husband the first week of our freshman year of college.
In speech class.
He tried to transfer out of the class because it conflicted with football practice (he was in the athletic training program) but he couldn't get out of the class.  Lucky for him huh?  Our speech professor put us in the same group to work on a project and we've been together ever since.  I can honestly say, it turned out to be the best class I've ever taken.

Oh a side note ... hubby, when he was just boyfriend, also worked at Country Market with me during the summers.  He almost burned the store down once.  But that's a story for another time.

4.  I used to have a career with Pottery Barn.
Well to be honest it was only a job.  But it was great.  Pottery Barn is owned by the Williams Sonoma Company.  So I was occasionally called to work in that store too.  My favorite part of the job was designing header displays.  But check out this deal ... employees received a 40% discount!  
I'm not sure I actually ever brought a paycheck home.

5.  Almost exactly one year ago today I suffered a back injury.
I was auditioning for Dancing with the Stars.
Not really.
It was much more glamorous than that.  I was walking down the hallway when the doorbell rang.  So I pivoted around and POP, something went terribly wrong.
I barely made it to the bed before I passed out.
I can honestly tell you that I have never felt pain like that.
I would gladly go through 100 labor and deliveries sans medication than go through that back pain again.  I was down for 2 weeks, unable to anything.
I couldn't even get to the bathroom by myself much less sit on the potty unassisted.  This is where a loving and understanding husband comes in handy.  Seriously, with him seeing me in that capacity ... well let's just say he must honestly love me.

6.  I home school my kids.
I've posted about our homeschooling adventures before.
But here's the honest part ... it's not always easy but it is the best thing I've ever done.
It works for us.

7.  My heritage is a mix of Scottish, Irish and Welsh.
My husband is Swedish, Danish and German.
I was raised somewhere between Southern Baptist and the Church of Christ.  I went to a Mennonite high school.
My husband was raised between the Methodist and Lutheran churches but he attended a Catholic high school.
We were married in an Evangelical Christian Church.
I honestly doesn't know what that makes my kids.

8.  I haven't met a chip I don't like.
Honestly.  They are my weakness.

We do a pretty good job of eating healthy ...
We support a CSA farm and get a weekly produce box.
We shop at a local farmers' market and we drink raw milk.
All wonderfully healthy.
But this doesn't take away from the fact that my all time favorite snack is chips. And the best is Laura Scudder's Barbecue Chips.  I can no longer find them in my local grocery store.  Do they even exist anymore? 

9.  I have had a library card my entire life.
When I was a kid my dad or grandma used to take me to the library every week.
Every time I've moved one of the first things I've done is to go get a new library card.
I usually have 2 or 3 books going at a time.
I take my own kids to the library every week.
It's just that important.

10.  I love Mexican food.
The ultimate test of a good Mexican restaurant is it's chile relleno.
I can honestly tell you that the best can be found in my old hometown of Dinuba at Sandoval's.

I was only supposed to list 10 things, but I love you enough to give you a bonus ...

11.  I have a tattoo. 
I was young and it was a dare.  But I love my tattoo.
No, that photo is not me, and my tattoo is much smaller and discrete.
Anyone want to take a guess as to what my tattoo is?  And where it is?

Now it's your turn ... I pass along this Honest Scrap Award to anyone who wants to play.
It was very therapeutic and a lot of fun.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Some Birthday Love

Last Saturday was a big day!
Guess who had a birthday?

Yup ... Neil Diamond ... 68 years and still making it work.

And then there's this chicky ...
I won't mention her age ... but she hasn't changed a bit in all these years.

But this is the one that steals my heart ...
My first born.  She let me practice being a mom.  She was such a good baby.  She never complained or judged when I didn't have a clue how to do the new mom thing.  
She's the kid I could take with me anywhere and I didn't have to worry that she would be disruptive or troublesome.  
This is the girl that went through an appendectomy without so much as a whine, a groan or tears.
She is the most patient, kind, loving person I know.
She's a wonderful example for her younger brother and sister.
Now she's well into her teenage years and I'm proud to say we get along great.  
She is growing into a beautiful woman.

So we had a party.
My assistant and I baked a cake.
Chocolate cake with chocolate frosting.
As requested.
Happy Birthday sweet daughter!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Take a Peek ...

I'm here for you ...

This should make everyone feel a bit better.

Take a peek into my house ...

Laundry ... a bunch of it ... waiting to be folded.
It's been there for over 28 hours.

My wonderful hubby did his part and Swiffered the floor.
On Sunday.
And there it still sits.  Waiting for someone to vacuum it up.

There is a rule in our house ...
all dishes must be out of the sink and in the dishwasher before going to bed.  The sink must be empty, clean and shiny.  This is just the way it is.
And this is the way it looked when I got up this morning.
This is just the way it is.

So ... now don't you feel better?
You're welcome.

And ... there's always tomorrow.  At least I'll have something to do, huh?

Oh, and one more thing ...
my 3-year finally picked out her Inaugural ensemble ...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Craft Corner ... Circles!

A few years ago I decided to do something creative with all the old Christmas cards I had in a box.  I had been saving them for years.  These were the regular old cards, not photo cards.  I put all the photo cards in a scrapbook.  It's great to go back and see how every one's kids have grown over the years.

But all those old regular cards ... here's what I did ...
I got out my trusty Creative Memories circle cutter ...

... and I made garland out of the cards!
I chose the best spot on the card to cut out a circle.
I think I even used a circle punch on some of the smaller ones.

Then I dug some gold thread out of my sewing box.  You know, the gold thread that cost something like $11 a spool, but I absolutely had to have it in order to sew the detailed top-stitching on my oldest daughter's maiden costume when she was younger, because I decided it would be so cute to dress my kids as characters right out of history since we were studying the renaissance period?  Yeah, that thread.  Good thing I saved it huh?  But you could use any color thread, embroidery floss, yarn, or even fishing line.

Anyhow, I sandwiched the thread between 2 circles of the same size, and used double-sided tape to hold the thread in place and stick the 2 circles together.  So you can look at the garland from both sides!

I have 3 garlands put together and enough circles cut out to make a couple more.  Next Christmas season I should have enough to hang them in 5 different areas.
Here it is hanging between the kitchen and family room.  That's my son, supposedly doing his math, sitting at the table.  I can see that my dishwasher drawers are sticking out.  I never run the dry cycle on my dishwasher.  I just open the thing up when it's still hot and let them air-dry.  Am I the only that does that?  All I know is that I constantly run into it when it's open and I have perpetual bruises on my shins.

So there ya go ... something crafty that will make you smile every time you look at it!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Cooties have come a long way since I was a kid.
Look how cute they are now ...

That's my 3-year old in the middle ... she's pretty cute too.
Today we played a very competitive round of Cootie.
We're trying to learn how to take turns.
This is harder than you realize.
Why should you have to wait until it's your turn to roll the dice?
Why should you roll the dice at all when you can just pick up any old bug part you want and build your Cootie?
Is this a toy or a game?
Can't you just steal your opponent's bug eyes because you like them better?
Why do we have to have rules?

Rules like ...
Don't stick bubble gum up your nose.

Did you know that you cannot blow a bubble by shoving gum up your nose?  This has nothing to do with Cooties, other than ... eeeew!
And yeah, my 3-year old tried it.  

"Mom, my bubble gum is stuck."
"Where?" I ask as I frantically start digging through her hair.
"Here!" Finger goes up the nose.  Way up.
"You're kidding?"
"Nope.  It's there.  See?"  Finger back in nose.
"You stuck your gum up your nose?"
"Yeah, I want to blow a bubble!"
"Ok, blow away then."  
Pop, out flies the gum.  No bubble.

I consider it a homeschool science experiment.
Lesson learned.

I remember playing Cootie with my Grandma.
I don't remember that the game had rules back then either.  I just remember putting together the bugs.
This is what they looked like when I was a kid ...
I love the retro-ishness of it, don't you?  My kids took one look at the box ...
One kid says, "Wow, that's OLD!"
The other says, "You mean they had Cooties way back then?"


Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's Your Point?

Well ... I'm not sure I have one.
 A point that is.
Today is one of those days where I just have so much running through my head I can't really focus on one thing.

Some of the stuff in my head seems worthy of the energy required to think about it.

Things like:

Hubby has a work trip to Houston again this week.  It's just not the same when he's not here.  I feel all out of sorts and I don't sleep well.  And I just miss him.

My mom is doing somewhat better.  She was hospitalized last week but is home now.  But I still worry.

My dad is caring for my mom all by himself.  That leaves me feeling guilty because I can't be there to help.  And I worry about the toll it's taking on my daddy.

My house is a disaster and I have several friends coming over at different times this week.  They're all really great friends and I know they won't judge, but it stresses me out to have a messy house.

Then I have those other things wasting space in my brain ... stuff like:

How can DeAnna come back and mess things up for The Bachelor?
Will the Chargers beat the Steelers, in the snow?
Did I remember to record the latest episode of The Unit?
When was the last time I cleaned out the cheese drawer in the fridge?

So no, I don't have much of a point today.
But I still thought I'd share.

Wait ... I will leave you with this:

The sun came out yesterday and today after numerous days of fog and gloom.
That made one house cat very happy.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Guess Who's in Town?

Look ... just look at who's in town ...

Doesn't that just make you want to smile?

Extreme Makeover Home Edition has hit Fresno.  They are building a house for a very deserving family.  I had heard on the local news that they were coming.  Yet it didn't fully register until today when we saw Ty Pennington!

Ok, well we didn't actually see Ty ... 
but we saw the bus!

I am the parent sponsor for our homeschool group's student newspaper.  So we were at our planning meeting this morning when another mom told us that Ty and the gang were just up the street.  Today they knocked on the door and announced that this particular family had been chosen.  Saturday they will demolish the house and get started building.  On our way home we drove by to take a look.  Of course the street is completely blocked off, but we were able to see all the activity and the big ol' bus sitting in the street.

How exciting is that?

Monday, January 5, 2009

Once Upon a Dream ...

My 3-year old daughter has a crush on a guy named Phillip.

Apparently, he's handsome.
He can ride a horse.
He can sing.
He can dance.

And ... he's a hero ...  he can slay dragons.
If that's not enough to make a girl's heart skip a beat, 
I don't know what is.
Oh yeah, and he's a prince!
So I'm guessing money is no problem.  He's due to inherit a kingdom some day.

And don't tell anyone, but I had quite a crush on the same guy when I was her age.
This is the stuff fairy-tales are made of.
And no matter how old you are ... it's still magical.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year ... New Style!

My oldest daughter decided to start the new year with a new look.
She asked me to cut her beautiful long hair.
Brave girl!

I cut 12 inches off!

She is going to donate her hair to Locks of Love.

It's a new look for a new year!