Friday, February 26, 2010

Pictures Taken By Five Year Olds

Lately I've been giving my camera to my girls and telling them each to take a picture of things that are important to them. They usually go crazy taking pictures of everything. Here's a few from our last photo session:

Poor Ellie. She is such a sweet cat, but her little cat brain is not too bright. She could outrun these girls and go hide somewhere if she wanted to, but instead she just hangs around them all day. And this is what happens. Those girls sure do love her, though.
Doesn't she look thrilled right now?

And I'm really glad Lucas made the cut. It's good to know that they think he's pretty important.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

CSI: Barbie

Last Saturday night started out like any other calm night at home. Around 8:00, the girls were asleep, I flipped on the Olympics, and sat down with a load of laundry to fold. We started a fire in the fireplace, and Mike joined me on the couch. We were chatting and watching some short track speed skating, when all of a sudden, out of the corner of my eye, I saw something by the tv. Look closely, see if you can see it too.

Do you see a pair of tan legs sticking out? Hi Apolo!
Here, I'll zoom in a little closer.
After peeking behind the tv, I saw our poor sixth Barbie victim. It was determined that while attempting to adjust the settings on the television her hair was sucked into the Xbox. Poor girl. She was just trying to help.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Unexpected Happens

From 1999 to 2007, I taught sixth grade language arts. I have a degree in elementary education, and when I did my student teaching, I taught fourth grade. I really enjoyed fourth grade, and from that point on saw myself teaching an upper elementary grade level. After graduation, I interviewed at a few schools, but didn't have any luck finding a job. By mid July, I was feeling anxious about finding work, and just when I didn't think I was going to find anything, I was offered a job teaching sixth grade. I had never pictured myself teaching middle school. Middle Schoolers were awkward, obnoxious, hormone driven, pre teens, and I didn't think those were students I wanted to spend my days with.

But I was wrong.

I took that sixth grade teaching position thinking that I could do anything for one year. And after one year, I'd look for another job. What happened during that year, to my surprise, is that I fell in love with middle school. Yes, you heard me right. I fell in love with middle school. I decided that I actually liked those wide eyed, socially awkward, self conscious, sixth graders. I loved making them feel like they weren't lost somewhere between elementary and high school. That they were important. That they had opinions, dreams, and a lot of creative talent. And I loved focusing in on one subject, like English. Even if I taught the same lesson six times in one day. My eight years with those students were unpredictable, frustrating and yet also very rewarding.

So even though I never saw myself teaching middle school, sometimes the unexpected happens.

What are some unexpected things (or "happy mistakes") that have happened in your life?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Watching Him Sleep

Every night before I go to bed, I go into his room and watch him sleep for a few minutes, watching his little chest move up and down, listening to his steady breathing. I stare at his angelic face (with his kissable chipmunk cheeks) and I think about....

how full my heart is.
how incredibly thankful I am.
how much I love this sweet baby.

And then I wonder.....

what is he dreaming about?
what makes him feel happy and secure?
what kind of man will he be one day?

But before too long, he will he wake up, and I will be greeted by this sweet grin.....
and will I scoop him up, snuggle him close, breathing in his baby scent. I will do this with a grin on my face to match his.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New Look For An Old Nook

Mike and I built and moved in to our current home two and a half years ago. Since then, we have been slowly working on decorating each room in our home just the way we want it. One spot that has been sorely lacking in this area is our entry way. It has been an empty void of a space. I've wanted to find something to put in the entry way that 1.) makes it a warm and inviting place and 2.) shows off a bit of our personal style (which is simple, modern, and a bit funky). Last month, my parents gave us a table and we were finally able to pull a little something together.

The table had been "living" in my parents' den, but they are changing things up a bit, and needed to get rid of it. Gladly, we were able to take it off their hands. We hung Mike's painting on the wall this past summer, just before Lucas was born. So we added the table underneath. Mike picked up the lamp and the red clock at Target. He managed to score the clock for a mere $12. It was on a clearance aisle marked down from $40! I do love a good deal. And the small sculpture on the table was a gift from our dear friend upon her return from a trip to Africa.
My favorite piece is this calendar. We had it in our kitchen at our old house, but just hadn't found the right place for it here in our new home. Mike's aunt bought this calendar in San Francisco in 1970. She was there visiting her sister (Mike's mom) after the birth of Mike's older brother, Juan. It hung in her home until she moved several years ago at which point she gave it to us. Funny story about this calendar: it was the recipient of Hannah's first smiles. When Hannah was just six weeks old, I held her up to look at it after reading that newborn babies enjoy looking at black and white images. To my astonishment, she broke out into the biggest grin. And each time I would hold her up to look at this calendar, she would smile again. I love art with a story behind it.
For now these things have created a warm, friendly atmosphere. Finally this old, empty nook, has finally received a new look!

PS I took these photos on Feb. 9th (hence the date on the calendar). Today it does read the 18th, but you get the idea. It basically looks the same!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

CSI: Barbie

The Fifth Victim: Ariel. She was discovered on the rug in Lucas' bedroom. She had been nibbled to death. Leah's new Zhu Zhu pet (named "Snoodles") was found next to her, so it was easy to determine who the killer was. Who knew Zhu Zhu pets could have such violent tendencies?

On the up side....look at the new floor in my boy's room! Mike and my dad worked really hard over the last two weekends to get it installed. I'm loving it!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day (two days late!)

Ok,so it's not Valentine's Day anymore. But better late than never? I thought I'd share a few highlights from our wonderful, lovey dovey weekend.

The traditional funny Valentine's card from Grandma and Papa had us all giggling this year.

This was the first year the girls were able to write their own names on their Valentines for school. They worked really hard writing each and every one.

Lucas and I made it up to school for their Valentine's Day party (i.e. "crazy sugar rush party day"). He loved seeing his sisters!

My sweet girls.

Valentine's Day kicked off with another tradition: a scavenger hunt. This year, I was lazy and didn't get around to making the clues until midnight the night before. If I were to grade my hunt this year, I'd give myself a C. The girls enjoyed it, though. Because it eventually led them to this....

This year they each got a Zhu Zhu pet as well as a little "house" for their pets to share. The only available one at Target was the "Disco Room" so the girls' pets can dance the night away.
And of course, I celebrated with my big Valentine too. Mike brought me breakfast from Panera Sunday morning, and we spent the day just as we like to do: relaxing with our family. Because really, he's my Valentine every day, not just February 14th. :)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Quiet As A Mouse In A Museum

A few days ago, the girls had been playing very quietly in their room, and so I thought, "Wow. No on has come out crying or tattle telling for a while now. This is great!" Little did I know, they had discovered a roll of scotch tape, and were working on this little art project....

Yep, they had taped everything from Kermit the Frog to a purse on their bedroom door. When I heard them cry out, "Mom! Come see what we made!" I knew I was in for a surprise.
They were really proud of themselves, so I played along. I mean, it was only tape. Nothing permanent. So I pretended to be looking at a masterpiece at a museum, giving lots of compliments on their design choices. Who doesn't love funky contemporary art created by five year olds?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

CSI: Barbie

Victim #4 was discovered at the foot of my bed last week. After a quick interview with a five year old witness, it was determined that the victim's name was "Mermaidia." She was in fact a mermaid. And like a fish out of water, she was simply not able to survive on dry land.

In addition, the poor girl's flipper had been gnawed off by some sort of sea creature. Her long arms remained outstretched as if to say, "Help me, please." It was a sad day for all who call the ocean their home.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Forest Dreamland

Need something fun to do with your child on a cold, snowy day? Why, create your own board game, of course! When I was little, I used to love to make up my own games. I would spend a whole day creating the game, designing the box, writing down the rules, then testing it out with my mom or dad. So a few days ago, I suggested this idea to my Banana and Bee, and they happily agreed that we our game closet could use a new addition.

After a good hour at our dining room table, we are proud to introduce our newest game: "Forest Dreamland." The girls designed and colored the board to look like a path that winds through a forest (hence the name). They colored the squares to look like Candyland. The goal of their game is simple: to be the first person to reach the end and win the gold coins. Along the way there are two squirrles: one good. one bad. The good squirrel has placed a rainbow and a pegasus on one of the squares. If you land on that square, move ahead two spaces. The bad squirrel has placed a black dot on one of the squares. If you land on it, you have to go sit in the bad squirrel's dark blue cave and lose one turn. Just roll the dice and see who will be the first person to make it through the Forest Dreamland!

Leah and Hannah proudly showing off their creation (which we have played about thirty times already)

A closer look. The bad squirrel is on the bottom, the good squirrel is on the top. Hannah made sure the bad squirrel had "mean, squinty eyes." The yellow circles at the end are the gold coins.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

40 Years

Tonight Mike and I went out with my parents to celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary. My wonderful friend, Jacquelyn, came over to babysit for us while the four of us went to see Up In The Air and then went our to eat at Red Rock Canyon Grill. The last time the four of us went to see a movie was last Christmas when we saw Slumdog Millionaire. So this was a real treat. We always have a nice time together. They reminisced about their wedding day: what the weather was like, that my dad wore brown shoes with his black suit with highwater pants, and how my grandmother made my mom's wedding dress. They remembered how they brought me home from the hospital on their 7th wedding anniversary (my birthday is Feb. 3rd). I pointed out that they have now been married as long as the Israelites wandered in the desert, and that my mom's cooking has been their "manna from heaven." And my mom explained how my dad had hidden his anniversary card for her to find in this morning's newspaper. He's clever like that.

My parents have a great marriage. A marriage full of respect, friendship, laughter, and of course love. And I sure love being their daughter.

Friday, February 5, 2010


This shirt says it all...

I also love that the top of his shirt is completely slobber soaked. He has been drooling like a maniac lately! Maybe there are some teeth ready to pop out soon. Who knows? What I do know is that he can drool on me anyday! :)

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

CSI: Barbie

This week's victims were two young Barbies. They were discovered Friday night in Hannah and Leah's closet. It was an open and shut case as the cause of death was quite clear.....

It was a Killer Whale attack.