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Week In Pictures – 2/15 – 2/22

This week had a black tie, some sibling love, some sickness and tv marathons, some work, and a memorial for a pretty wonderful guy.

Every year, the husband attends some black tie events. I never get to go with him, but it's nice to see him all gussied up.

Every year, the husband attends some black tie events. I never get to go with him, but it’s nice to see him all gussied up.

They fight, but they also have a lot of really sweet moments. Ultimately, I know they love each other.

They fight, but they also have a lot of really sweet moments. Ultimately, I know they love each other.

A friend on facebook has been posting snippets from old cookbooks, which caused me to get out this book, which I got from my mother. It’s from 1963. The funniest part of it is the way they spell cookie. The first recipe in the book is called Chocolate Drop Cookies. I may have to try these this week.

I'm both curious and scared to make the cookies in this book.

I’m both curious and scared to make the cookies in this book.

My youngest (and I) were sick much of the week. That means we watched hours upon hours of The Brady Bunch.

There was a LOT of Brady Bunch this week.

Flyin’ down the highway in my makeshift model t a. Woo.

I worked on Thursday, even though M was still sick. So, the husband stayed home and took her to the doctor. They picked me up for lunch and, since I only had 45 minutes, we went to Subway.

The bottom suction of the cupholder stayed on my cup.

The bottom suction of the cupholder stayed on my cup. Whoops.

On Saturday, I went for a walk, before it got too cold and gloomy. My son asked if he could join me, and it was really lovely. We just talked and walked. It reminded me of when he was very little and used to run away from me when we tried to walk around the neighborhood. It’s hard for me to believe he’s headed to high school next year!

My walking buddy is much more agreeable than when he was a toddler. :)

My walking buddy is much more agreeable than when he was a toddler. :)

Saturday night, I went to a memorial concert/celebration of life for Joe Ramsey. Joe and Allison have been fantastic friends and Joe is terribly missed. Joe and Allison both are musicians. Joe was in several bands as a young man and was a mentor to a lot of local musicians. He was a genuinely great guy, and hundreds of people came together last night to celebrate his life with music.

What a 45-year-old wears to a rock show, apparently. I need to go shopping.

What a 45-year-old wears to a rock show, apparently. I need to go shopping.

Signs specially made to let us know where to go.

Signs specially made to let us know where to go.

The memorial was held at Santa Anita Racetrack.


I love the look of this place.

I went with my friend Bernadette, and we hung out with friends Debbie and Dawn – who happen to be our kids’ preschool teachers. We had fun taking goofy pictures at the photo booth.

We rocked those hats.

We rocked those hats.

We also hung out with Tracey, who we haven’t seen in far too long!

l-r Tracey, David, me, Dawn, Bernie

l-r Tracey, David, me, Dawn, Bernie

We listened to the bands play while we talked and caught up. Reflected on life. Talked about Joe. Then we knew Allison was going to sing, so we headed up right next to the stage. (I’m glad we didn’t stay there the whole time – my ears were ringing something fierce.)

Allison, singing "You and I" with the Four Eyed Four.

Allison, singing “You and I” with the Four Eyed Four.

Then she sang one of Joe’s songs, called “Ash Capital.” It was lovely.



Rest in Peace, Joe.

Rest in Peace, Joe.

There were some tears last night, but mostly it was a wonderful celebration of life, love, and music. Seeing that many people come together for Joe and Allison was something amazing. I am lucky for knowing the both of them. <3




Week In Pictures: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Week was busy, and yet I have few pictures to show for it. I worked 2 days last week, and got to see my daughter’s class project – a Mission. A collaborative effort between two 4th grade classes. I love it!


I’m obsessive and anal about very few things in life. (Ask my husband and my mom.) But crayons are my downfall. Every kid should have ALL the crayons. And not broken. So I did this…


and thisIMG_0670

I know. I know.IMG_0675

Wednesday it was the Father/Daughter dance for my littlest girl. He’s putting on her corsage.



On Friday we had no school, so the kids and I watched old tv shows like “The Wonder Years” and I noticed they had the same stone in their living room as we do…IMG_0689

See the brick?!

See the brick?!

Friday consisted of Mommy resting, because she was sick, and the kids playing a lot outside.



On Saturday, I chopped my hair off. I’ve been trying to grow it for so long, and I was finally done. Before.


After. Notice the red nose from blowing.


That afternoon was silks. I love watching this girl up in the air.IMG_0741

Valentine’s Day was a family date night.IMG_0754

Complete with Flamenco for entertainment.IMG_0759 IMG_0764

And flowers from my guy.IMG_0779

Today I spent almost 3 hours at an urgent care waiting to be seen, because I feel worse than I did before. Thankfully, I live someplace warm and sunny, and I could wait outside instead of with all the sick people.IMG_0790

And while I was gone, my dad played b-ball with the kiddos and my mom cleaned my kitchen and did laundry. I’m a lucky woman!IMG_0798 IMG_0800


How was your week?


Two Steps Forward

Yesterday two things happened that will hopefully help me on my way to better health and maybe even, eventually, a better outlook and a better life.

1. I joined Weight Watchers (again).

2. I got my essential oils in the mail.

I’ve joined and re-joined Weight Watchers in the past. I’ve done Sparkpeople. I’ve gone to the gym, walked the neighborhood, tried jogging, did workout videos, and even tried a supplement program for a month. Sometimes I’ve been successful. Sometimes, I haven’t been. This time, I have to change the way I look at food, the way I look at exercise, the way I deal with stress, and how I stay healthy in the midst of all of life’s stresses and curve balls. As I’ve posted before, I need to get my own health in order before I can be super-effective in everything else I do.

So, yesterday I went down to the local WW meeting and bit the bullet. I FEEL different this time. I feel like I’m more serious this time. Let’s hope it sticks!!


The essential oils… A few weeks ago, I saw a friend of mine posted a photo of oils and said they were helping with her thyroid issues. We chatted for a bit and she gave me some great information. I wasn’t ready to spend a big chunk of money on oils, so I went to our local Whole Foods and bought what they had. I don’t know that I noticed a big difference, but after awhile, my neck got a rash. Probably because they weren’t pure.

Last week, I was invited by another friend to find out more information about oils. I ended up diving in and buying a starter kit with several oils and a diffuser. As someone who not only has thyroid issues but also allergies, headaches, and works in an environment full of germy  kids, I figured this might be a good option for me (us).



I currently have the diffuser going with something called “Thieves” in it, because my nose is feeling yucky.

IMG_0555So, here’s to health! I really can’t wait to start feeling better, and taking charge of my own health. I’ve seen so many doctors and still have headaches. I really hope this can help in some way. I can’t keep taking pain meds every day.




**How do you take care of yourself? I’d love to hear!


Sick Kids and TV Marathons

Today I’m home with a sick kid. Yesterday I was home with a different sick kid. Last week I was home two days with yet a different sick kid. Having a sick kid is no fun. I feel terrible for the kid and just want them to feel better. At the same time, I worry about missed assignments and how long they’ll be out.

However, there are a few nice things about staying in with a sick child at home.

First, you have permission to sit on the couch and just hang out. Sometimes, when they’re younger, they’ll let you snuggle them. When they’re older, there’s usually a tv marathon of some kind. My oldest (and only son) was home last week and we had an “Arrow” marathon. It’s a darker show than “The Flash” – another superhero show that all my kids watch – so it’s become “our show” that we watch just the two of us.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.25.57 AM

Yesterday, my middle child played video games and watched several episodes of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” (yes, you read that right).

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.26.53 AM

Today, my youngest will most likely choose a movie or some old tv series.

Screen Shot 2015-01-27 at 9.27.37 AM

Last year, when my middle child broke both of her wrists, I introduced her to “Once Upon A Time” – and soon the other kids wanted to watch it, too. Now they’re all fans. :)


I have to say, when I was a kid and stayed home sick, I didn’t have an arsenal of old and new shows, movies, and video games. We had no Hulu or Netflix. TV series weren’t on VHS (or Betamax). We watched what was on tv, or we read, or were bored. Kids today don’t have the opportunity to be bored. There’s too much to keep them busy.

It might stink to feel bad and miss seeing your friends at school, but having a sick day is not a bad gig in 2015.




Week In Pictures – 1/11 – 1/18/2015

Week In Pictures – 1/11 – 1/18/2015

I used to do a “Week in Pictures” on a regular basis, but I’ve let it lapse. Partly because I just don’t have the time to sit down and write it. Sometimes because I don’t think anyone finds them that interesting. This past week was a good week. I did a little teaching. We celebrated my husband’s birthday. And we went and saw a pirate show. :)


We had 2 kids with 2 science fair projects due on the same day.IMG_0132

We got homemade gifts from Cousin Stacie.IMG_0133

I found a treasure trove of old photos of me, including the one above. :)IMG_0181

I got my annual eye exam and my vision warrants new glasses. Picking out new frames is torture for me. I hate it so much. These are two that I did NOT pick.IMG_0171

My husband had a birthday, and here are a few of his gifts.IMG_0192 IMG_0200

My daughter made him a pie for his birthday. I tried to put candles in it, but it was too warm and melted them. :(IMG_0210 IMG_0211

So, we gave him a big ole candle to blow out instead.IMG_0217

Saturday we visited our local farmer’s market, which we hadn’t been to in far too long.IMG_0231

And my middle one had her weekly silks class, in which I imagine taking the class myself, but never do.IMG_0237 IMG_0266

And we went to a Pirate show in Buena Park. I was actually not looking forward to it, but made reservations because my husband has been wanting to go. I really liked it and had a lot of fun! It’s smaller than Medieval Times, and there’s no questionable mistreatment of animals to make me uncomfortable. Just singing, stunts, swashbuckling, and even… silks!IMG_0274

The “gypsy” did several silks routines, including some tandem with one of the pirates.IMG_0292 IMG_0306

If you’re near Orange county, I recommend it, but either get your tickets NOW or at Costco. Now they’re selling specially priced tickets, and Costco has almost a 2-for-one deal. And you need reservations. Pirate Dinner Adventure.

2 Jars for the New Year

2 Jars for the New Year

Happy New Year!

I’ve made resolutions in the past. I’ve got resolutions this year, too, but I’m not posting them here. I’ll post them on Sparkpeople, because it’s mostly about making healthy changes for myself and my family in the new year.

In our family, a few years ago we started a tradition of 2 Jars.

If you don’t want to read the other post, the gist is this – Take two jars. In one, you will take small pieces of paper and write down your wishes, hopes, or goals for the year. In the past, we’ve written things like:

-get a new car for Mom

-play more games as a family

-bake 20 loaves of bread

-be a better housekeeper

-try to finish all my homework before 10pm

-be more patient with each other

-visit the set of my favorite tv show (this was mine, because my husband has been on the set and has been invited to come back with me… {that was 2 years ago} )

The other jar is left empty, with a marker and small blank pieces of paper next to it. This is to write good things that have happened during the year – or times that we were proud, happy, or were important.

Last year, I was the only one who wrote anything good. Apparently I forgot to put out the second jar, and I accidentally put it with the jar of wishes. (side note – some of the wishes were dated from the previous year and were carryovers)

IMG_0031 IMG_0032

So, this New Year’s Day, we wrote another list of hopes and wishes for the new year. We keep them secret from each other, and on New Year’s Eve, we read them to see if any of them came true. Hopefully several of them will have by then. Part of the fun is not remembering what you wrote. Perhaps I should have written mine down separately so that I can aim for those goals, but honestly? They’re all pretty ingrained in my head. They’re mostly things I’ve been wanting or needing to do for some time.

Do you have a New Year tradition instead of resolutions?

2014 Year in Review

It’s been a few years since I’ve done a year-in-review. I was looking back at my blog posts and it seems that 2011 was the last one I did. So this year, I’ll bring it back.

2014 saw some good and bad. Some ups and downs. Some successes and frustrations.

The new year started with my middle child having two broken wrists.

Getting the second one.

Getting the second cast put on.

and a new car for the family!


My husband and son both celebrated birthdays – and my son became a teenager. How on earth did that happen?!

The big 1-3

The big 1-3

He also participated in a local Science Olympiad invitational, started playing basketball, and gave his first tour at the Gamble House as a junior docent.

In February, my second book was released!


It’s always exciting to find your own book on the local bookstore shelves.

On Valentine’s Day, my son gave a tour to my youngest daughter’s class. Here he is talking about the grounds.


In February I also started substitute teaching. My first day I had to go into town to get lunch, and they were filming something. They turned our little town square into Breezy Shore, NJ.IMG_2333

We also finally finished our backyard by tiling the bbq area!!IMG_2531

In March I finally got to see the Space Shuttle. Amazing.IMG_2676

And the boy competed in Math Field Day for his 7th grade team.IMG_2776

In April, we celebrated my father’s retirement.

My dad is adorable.

My dad is adorable.

and celebrated Easter


My 10-year-old made a from-scratch coconut cake and it was delicious!

IMG_3073 IMG_3067

The brownies went camping in covered wagons.IMG_3812

In May, my darling girls performed in their 3rd musical.IMG_4162

and the 5th grader performed in her last dance show at school.IMG_7435

She also “graduated” from 5th grade.


In June, she turned 11.IMG_4430

We started swimming again.IMG_4599

We also headed out of town and went on vacation.IMG_4744

We saw snow in June!IMG_4760

We visited Seattle and saw my brothers and sister-in-law.IMG_4840


IMG_4965 IMG_5051

We went sailing.

IMG_5084 IMG_5096 IMG_5113 IMG_5099

After Seattle, we headed down to Ashland, Oregon.


The kids saw “Into the Woods” and “The Coconuts” and Wayne and I saw “The Tempest.” We met my parents there, which was fun – and they watched the kids while we had a date! :)IMG_5239

We also explored Lithia Park together, after a picnic.IMG_5290IMG_5303

In July, the youngest and I marched in the 4th of July parade with the local Brownie chapters.


We saw a few shows at the Hollywood Bowl – one of our favorite summer traditions.IMG_5965

And my best friend since 4th grade came to visit – and brought her oldest daughter. <3IMG_5931 IMG_5927

In August, we did more swimming, and went to the beach (it’d been years).


We also went to Legoland.


The kids started school (it’s earlier every year, it seems) and started 8th, 6th, and 4th grades.IMG_9241

In September, the girls started silks and gymnastics. It’s a change of pace from tapdancing, and they’re loving the new classes.



We made our annual trek to Oak Glen for apple picking with friends.IMG_9355

We saw dinosaurs.


In October, I participated in an Author Fair at Art Night, which was fun. I only sold one book, but it was a good experience.


We went to JPL’s Open House, which they haven’t done in a few years. Here’s Sean posing with “Mohawk Guy” (aka Bobak Ferdowski).


The 4th grade performance.


And, all 3 of my kids participated in the local window painting contest. My middle child’s group won 2nd place in their age group.

IMG_8536IMG_9853 IMG_9859

Halloween is one of our favorite times of the year. My kids went as a zombie baker, Marty McFly, and young Maleficent.


November brought a wonderful trip to Disneyland. It was our first time going for 2 days and staying in the hotel. Love seeing the Haunted Mansion decked out for the holidays!IMG_8829

My youngest had a birthday, and turned 9, two days after my birthday, where I turned a much bigger number than 9.


And Thanksgiving was fun – somehow my kids convinced the family to do improv together. Here’s my husband and my sister-in-law doing a scene together.IMG_9433

Finally, in December we met a brand new baby, Riley Sophia, born on 12-13-14.


The girls performed in another musical – this time with bigger parts! Here they are, each getting ready to go on stage.

IMG_9685 IMG_9688

We also had a wonderful Christmas. Each of my kids made each other – and Mom and Dad – special gifts. Every year they blow me away with their thoughtfulness.IMG_7983

We saw my family, too. Here we are after brunch before one brother and his wife went back to Seattle. It’s almost everyone – missing brother Terry, who’d already gone home, and the husband, who’s taking the photo.IMG_8105

These are all mostly good things. Each year brings sadness and tragedy. This year was no exception. We said goodbye to my husband’s uncle, to a dear family friend, to a work friend of Wayne’s, and a friend from our world of preschool and community. Each loss was felt deeply, and always brings on reflection of how we live our own lives, how we hold our dear ones, and makes us remember others we have lost.

I hope for everyone that 2015 brings many wonderful things. I know there will be sadness, but I wish for nothing but love and peace and happiness for all those dear.

Happy New Year.


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