Thursday, April 4, 2013

Time MARCHes On

March was no less busy than February with sports, school, work and life.

One thing new we did was take a self-defense class. One of my co-workers was mugged/assaulted earlier in March so this was at the forefront of my mind.  I missed the class in February due to Presidents Day Weekend but I knew I wanted to take the girls to the March class.  We learned how to get out of 3 different choke holds. I was so proud of my girls.  Paula felt very empowered afterwards and told me how much she appreciated me taking her. Shawna had a basketball game later that day and shared all her new skills with her teammates. She even asked her coach to "choke me" to which he said a quick 'Uh, NO".  haha He eventually played along and was impressed by her new skills.  Our next class we'll learn the Super Slap!

This month we also attended my nieces 4th birthday party at a jumping type place with lots of trampolines, side trampolines, and did I mention trampolines?  The kids had a blast and want to go back.  Allison was super cute and funny with her swimming and preschool friends.  I can't believe she's already 4!  My brother and his wife are now pre-approved for a home loan so they're on their way to owning their own home.  This is a huge deal for anyone, but especially them.  I'm very proud of them. 

We also went camping over Easter weekend.  Ever since Todd's family stopped regularly getting together on Easter we've gone camping instead.. They used to do a money hunt for kids and adults. No one wanted to miss that!  Todd's dad would hide about $400 in 1's and maybe a few 5's out in the side yard for everyone to find. We also chipped in plastic candy filled eggs and other Eastery stuff to find.  But, his dad is 79 TODAY and over the past few years his parents haven't felt like getting together with the family for various reasons so we go camping instead.  This time we went to a KOA we visited over Mothers Day weekend that has TONS of amenities like a pool, hot tub, jumping pillow, store, petting zoo, rock wall, playground, etc, etc.  The kids had a blast. It even rained a bit but no one cared.  Trailer camping is the best.

I'm totally hooked (again) to West Wing TV series on Netflix.  OMG it's a total obsession and I'm already on season 3.  I watch it everyday and would watch it ALL DAY if I could.  I just love the characters and story lines. The humor is great.  I wish we had another show like it now, because when I've watched the entire thing I'm going to be soo depressed. 

I'm super proud of my girls and who they've become. 

Paula is such a sweet soul. She babysits neighbor twins almost every week and does such a great job with them. The parents compliment and praise her often.    She's so helpful around our house too.  Her grades are great and she has really good friends.  Friends I hope she keeps a lifetime. 

Shawna's loves for animal's is wonderful.  She keeps saying she wants to be a vet, but time will tell.  Her teacher emailed me recently how proud she is of Shawna's accomplishments, grades and just overall conduct. She really enjoys basketball this year and I think works much harder and stays more focused than she did last year. Shawna's grades are also very good.  She still loves kisses and hugs from me, which I hope never ends! 

Life is so good right now.  I'm very blessed.

How for the pictures!

Allison (black shirt) turns 4! 

Shawna in love with her farm animals at the KOA

Paula dye's eggs for the Easter egg hunt

The girls and their loot. The Easter Bunny hid eggs in front of the trailer but he forgot baskets this year so we improvised.

Paula helps mommy make Easter dinner with homemade scalloped potatoes. 
It was really good!  I recommend it!

Paula and Shawna at their 12 and 10 year well checks 4/2/13.

Paula's stats (she's now taller than I am!)

Shawna's stats

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beach and Butterflies

If I don’t get this down I’ll forget so here is what we’ve been up to for the past few weeks.  This won’t be interesting to you unless you’re me.  J

Last weekend of January:

January 26th my baby turned 10. DOUBLE-DIGITS. This was huge of course. Shawna talked about the big day for weeks.

We invited several of her friends to a bowling party at a local bowling alley, which I’d never been to prior. Thankfully the place was great. We had our own party person who handled the shoes, lane computer, drinks, pizza and cut the cake. I LOVED HER!!!! Birthday parties stress me out. Especially when I have to be the host.

Later that night Shawna was invited, along with her entire class of 30 kids and their families, to an ice skating party for a birthday party. My parents were in town for Shawna’s birthday and didn’t want to go to the ice rink so Todd stayed home with them while Paula, Shawna and I went out. The girls had fun skating while I watched. I can sort of skate. Not great. I don’t need to fall and injure myself. There was an open bar in the lounge, along with tons of food. The mom of the daughter went over and beyond, I was told, because she wanted to thank the school families for their support for her and her family after her husband died in October.

Sunday was open house at school and the final volleyball games for most teams. Todd helped at the annual pancake breakfast all day. He brought mimosas for everyone working. Weee.

Shawna brought home a play date. Overall a great weekend.

1st weekend of February:

Friday the 1st the girls and Todd went to a Father-Daughter dance which was beach themed. The girls had a BLAST. Todd did too, he said it was the best one yet.

Saturday was Paula’s volleyball party at a pizza place where she got to play video games and Shawna played her last volleyball game that day.

Sunday was SUPER BOWL. We had a party. I even let Todd buy a new TV. That’s huge since I swore until the ancient projector one we had broke, he couldn’t buy another one. But the projector TV you
need to be sitting practically directly in front of the TV to see it clearly and I would have 13 people in my living room so I needed one that was viewable from all sides. Our new TV is a SmartTV. You can talk to it and it responds with an action. omg.

We have Amazon subscribed to the TV and we’re prime members, so I’m now watching season 2 of Downton Abbey all week. I’m sooo hooked to this show.

2nd weekend

Not as exciting as the previous weekends. Shawna went on a play date to her friend’s house on Saturday. Sunday Girl Scout Cookie sales began! I have two girls in Girl Scouts which means I have a lot more cookies than some people.

Although, I’m amazed how many cookies a single girl can sell. We aren’t power sellers. Shawna and I went around the neighborhood Sunday selling 40 boxes while Paula and her friend made cakes in my kitchen. Todd changed the oil in his hoopty.

Let me know if you want GS cookies. I’m selling thru March!

3rd weekend

Presidents Day weekend we headed with the travel trailer to Pismo Beach. We stayed at a new RV park that packed you in like sardines. We didn’t even bother opening our awning because it almost hit the trailer next to us. LOL

We also had to park the truck next to the trailer and almost couldn’t open the trailer door all the way.

The Jacuzzi was the best part of the park. The kids LOVED the pool and Jacuzzi. They also met a friend age 9 from Riverside, who had her own bodyguard. She told Shawna her mom is overprotective. Yah think?! Her brother, age 10, had his own bodyguard.

They were sort of glorified nannys. The girl’s bodyguard was very friendly and talked about himself to us a lot. He’s an ex-sheriff. He’d sit outside my trailer when Shawna and her were inside. I got so comfortable with him I didn’t even worry about my kids since I knew he was watching over them since his ‘ward’ was with my kids.

They would play in the pool and he’d watch them. It was great! I met the parents, who were nice and they even invited us to dinner one night, but we refused as we’d bought meat to BBQ. This was before we knew he was a bodyguard and not a “family friend” like he said at first. I’d might have said yes just for that since I’m so nosy!

We went to the beach for a couple hours one day and drove the truck on the sand. Paula hung out in the freezing cold water for awhile. Shawna dug sand with a shovel, then Paula joined her. Rosie ran around and got sandy and wet. She was cute.

We saw a bunch of the monarch butterflies on our way back to the campgrounds. There is a monarch preserve that has thousands who fly in every year for a few months. It’s amazing to see.

4th weekend:

This weekend we’re selling girl scouts cookies (surprise) and going to our good friends’ 2nd annual soup party. You can enter your own soup for $10 or just show up and taste the soup, then vote on the best ones. The winner goes home with all the money. I was considering

Making a soup but I never make soup. And with GS cookie sales in the afternoon I won’t have time to do anything. So I’ll just go and eat.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My mug leaks

This weekend my niece, Allison, came over for a sleepover.  Her mom had a chiropractic seminar she needed to attend all day for her yearly credits and my brother, the cop, was on duty from 2pm on. The girls always have fun together playing.  But, boy oh boy is this girl bossy and full of attitude.  She's in a preschool class with 5 year olds now even though she's only 3.  The reason is she does better with older children. I think they tolerate her better than the younger ones.

We had one time-out and a few threats of time-out this weekend, all which were not received well.  Go figure. 

Apparently, peanut butter on a spoon is her favorite snack, which was a surprise to her mother. 

I spent most of Sunday working on Shawna's scrapbook project for her 4th grade mission.  She has Mission Santa Cruz.  Whoever thinks these projects are done by the children is sadly mistaken.  Whoever thinks a child of the age of 9 can do this without parent help and produce anything worthy of a decent grade, is also mistaken. 

Two years ago Paula did a scrapbook for her mission.  She gave great input and did a lot of the work herself but I definitely helped the entire time.  It took us 8 hours but we did it together.
Shawna was available only in spurts. Her concentration level is less than her sisters. She did help pick colors of paper and used some of my scrapbook supplies to punch out shapes to add to the book, and placed those shapes on the pages.  She pulled off every letter and handed it to me to apply to the paper.  But mostly she wanted to play with Allison or go outside, or watch tv, or do anything other than sit at the table and help with the scrapbook. 

I was determined this scrapbook would be complete this weekend so I trudged along.  It came out nice and it's DONE. 

We have a model that she did too.  Their class has to do two projects.  Her dad helped with the model.  I got to do the scrapbook. Teamwork. We have it. 

I need to complain about my coffee mug.  I have an old Thermos brand coffee mug I use for work.  Sometimes after I wash it, water gets trapped under the plastic and drips each time I take a sip.  Today my keyboard & desk are getting wet. Why why why.  So annoying. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas 2012

This year Christmas went very well.  Having a full weekend before Christmas arrives is KEY.  I wish that happened every year.

The week before Christmas my brother's family joined us on the Niles Christmas Train of Lights. His daughter is 3.5 years old so watching her experience this event is pretty fun for all of us. I only have iPhone pictures to share so forgive the quality.

Shawna and I

Paula, Shawna and niece Allison

                                My brother Alan, Todd and Santa and Mrs. Clause coming down the train

Paula and I

My sister-in-law Jennifer. See how pretty the lights are inside the train. 

Allison at my house after.  We were trying on snow wear.  

The girls worked together to build mini gingerbread houses.  I vowed to buy normal size ones next year.

My husband's sense of humor attached to my light fixture

My brother (the cop) and his sense of humor. 
Alan sent this to me saying another cop sent it to him. He said this is what cops do when they're bored with Christmas stuff. 

Shawna pretending to make a phone call on the antique phone at my in-laws house.
There is actually a dial tone!

My in-laws house, where my husband grew up, is practically all wood inside. It might explain why my house is too. 
The husband ADORES OAK. 

My table scape with my Spode Christmas China

This is a 66 year old Elf on a Shelf my mom has from when she was a child. 
The face appears to be carved from wood.  My kids had fun looking for him one day when Grandma hid him several times. Like hide-n-seek.

Both girls were part of the nativity story at church on Christmas Eve. They did very well. Shawna was an Angel and Paula was Mary. The priest asked all the kids questions and both girls answered correctly on all counts. Did you know sheep herders were considered BAD? Yes, apparently they were the low man on the totem pole and were not considered "good". When the priest mentioned this the entire church hummed. I don't think anyone knew this fact. If it is in fact, a fact. Heh.

Overall this Christmas was enjoyable and not too stressful.  I'm very grateful for my family and friends.  Hope everyone reading this (all 4 of you) had a wonderful Christmas too!  xoxo

Tuesday, December 11, 2012



Dust if you must but wouldn’t it be better

To paint a picture or write a letter,

Bake a cake or plant a seed.

Ponder the difference between want and need.

Dust if you must but there’s not much time.

With rivers to swim and mountains to climb!

Music to hear and books to read,

Friends to cherish and life to lead.

Dust if you must but the world’s out there

With the sun in your eyes, the wind in your hair,

A flutter of snow, a shower of rain,

This day will not come around again.

Dust if you must but bear in mind,

Old age will come and it’s not kind.

And when you go and go you must,

You, yourself, will make more dust.

Remember, a house becomes a home when

You can write “I love you” on the furniture……

Author unknown

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Israel not so far from home

I work for an Israeli owned company with our HQ in Tel Aviv. I talk to my Israeli folks almost daily for one reason or another. I’ve met some in person when they’ve come out here for sales conferences or projects. We've gone to lunch, hugged, kissed cheek to cheek.  Shown each other pictures of our kids, told stories, laughed. 

Last week when this war with Gaza started I was on a conference call with Israel.  I was remotely working on one Dawn's computer in test mode so her emails came thru to my side. Emails saying that "we" bombed Gaza.  I did not receive those same emails here in the US.  I wasn't on that distribution list.  It was odd to see those emails flashing in front of me while I worked to run the testing I needed to finish. 

We also have several Israeli’s here in our Sunnyvale office who have either been transferred here or are visiting.

The situation over there is very close to home is what I’m saying.

Monday I emailed someone in our IT department who handles Oracle issues for us on a regularly basis. I've met him during a visit here. He's a really nice person. His name is Guy.  Guy is fast to fix problems. I've worked here for almost 1 and 1/2 years and he's the 'guy' to go to, literally.  Thankfully our group figured out the problem on our own so we told him to ignore.

He still responded. “I'm on RD (Reserve Duty) anyway, so I couldn't really help...
No clue when I'll be back. Will inform you once I do.”


I replied to him to "STAY SAFE.  Hoping this ends quickly and safely for all of you."

He just replied to me this morning
"Thanks, doing my best."

I feel like this war is not so far from home.

Monday, November 12, 2012

November Update

I need to update this thing or I'll forget simple things.

Paula has started babysitting for 20 month old twins who live around the block from us. Boy/girl twins. The mom or dad or both are always home. Paula is more of a mothers helper right now but she wants to be able to babysit them and other kids alone some day. She gets paid but not much, although money does make her feel like it’s a real job. In December she’s signed up for a Red Cross babysitting class in Palo Alto from 9am-6pm. That’s a long class. The list of what they get taught is lengthy.

Volleyball started up again at school. There are two 5th/6th grade teams and the one she was on last year (coach) she did not get on this year. This time her team has a lot of new players and although they can hold their own for awhile, they end up losing in the end. She’s discouraged.

For Halloween she dressed up in 80’s clothes. Some from the Halloween super store and some from Goodwill and Walgreens. She wears the legwarmers quite frequently. She may bring them back in style. Heh.

Parents at school asked me if I had those clothes lying around. Ha! I actually did have the black shirt buckle in my hope chest. I just could not throw it out. Good thing! 

Paula's grades are very good also. Almost all A's.  During parent teacher conferences we were surprised to learn she gets distracted easily in class.  Yet she has A's so the teacher is not sure what to make of the two.  Paula is working on paying more attention. 

Shawna is doing really well in school. She also has almost all A's.  Her teacher started the year tutoring her then said she no longer needs it.  She's all caught up from summers lack of reading.  Not that we didn't try to get her to read, she just refused most of the time to pick up a book.  She does better when a teacher makes her read, apparently. 

Volleyball is happening for her too. She's loving her first year. I really like her coach, who has a scheduled movie night for the team. We got her new sneakers yesterday with white soles for the gym.  A new rule or old rule, I'm not sure. She wanted to test them out by jogging but I don't job. haha Todd took her to the school by our house for her to run around. 

This past weekend Paula went to two different sleepovers so Shawna and I got to pal around. We watched Soul Surfer together on the couch.  She's a snuggler that girl. Love my Shawna time. 

Todd turns 45 in a couple days. I'm throwing him a birthday party with our close friends.  I wanted to invite more people than we are but I started to hyperventilate. Thankfully he wanted something smaller.  For Christmas maybe we'll have a big one, who knows.

Alrighty, I'm off to go dress shopping at Macy's for my company holiday party coming up in a couple weeks.