Thursday, May 31, 2007

Not So Exteme.....Home Makeover

HE, HE, Had to use that line. Well, it's not actually that extreme, but our house is looking a lot different, a lot better. As promised, here are some pictures of our newly painted and newly landscaped home. My husband did most of the work and it has taken him probably about two months (not sure, will check with him later). But he pulled out the old grass, put in new sprinkler system, put in some new soil, new sod, planted new plants and trees. We had a painter paint the house and we had new windows put in previously(the old ones, you could hear the wind singing a tune through on windy days!). Dan did all the brick work and is in the process of putting river rocks in the front, so it is not 100% done, but almost and is looking rather good! He is such a hard worker and I'm glad we are able to enjoy this beautiful yard now. I am posting both before and after so you can see the "not so extreme" makeover differences.....
Old look
Old colors
Not so exteme home makeover!!!!
New colors; Cherry Bark and Lost Summit. I just LOVE them!!!! I especially love my red door! It is the original door and has a hummingbird etched in glass in the middle. Really pretty and really appropriate for this bird lover! Here it is......

Old country blueNew colors
Front porch before and after
Old yardfront yard
Our new curvaceous yard

new curves......
Old Blue Barn
Old Barn
New Barn, we use this for a studio and game room. The double door leads into the game room where there is electronic dart board, a pinball game and an air hockey. I also do crafts in there. Inside, to the left is a door that leads to my photography studio.
New landscaping plants
Some of our new plants (will update the names of them later in Flickr)
And lastly, some new citrus trees along the front and new river rock he's putting in.
New citrus trees
What do ya think? We're both really happy with it and I'm really proud of my hard-working husband!

Monday, May 28, 2007



Violet is the most graceful young swimmer I've ever seen in the water.

Water Shimmering
Graceful, alluring mermaid
Gliding playfully

Inspired by MSO-MamaSaysOm.

Go Padres!!!!

What a fun week we've had. We have done a lot of fun things with family and friends. We've been to the Chula Vista Nature Center, a Padres game, ceramics class, nana's house, homeschooling park day, had a mom's craft day here at the house, done some gardening (front is almost done, pictures to follow very soon!). Violet made a new friend down the street from us who enjoys Pokemon almost as much as her. She's been doing a lot more bike riding now that she feels a lot more confident with her bike (really started with our camping trip). Olivia's been doing a lot of drawing and writing. And, I even got some housecleaning and laundry in, believe it or not! Here's a few pictures of our week and there's plenty more on Flickr.....
Olivia with clay
Olivia making a tic-tac-toe game and playing with clay
Violet's Pikachu
Happy People
One of Olivia's drawings
Embellishments 3
Some embellishments I made at my art group
Olivia enjoying the scene
Chula Vista Nature Center (see more in my Science group pictures)
Petco ParkIn front of the park
Petco Park; we left after the 5th inning with the Padres up one to nothing. I'm not even sure what the ending score is. It was fun, but the kids started to get a little bored. We went by the kids area, but it was really crowded and there was a really long line for the kids to play the games. It's a beautiful stadium though and it was a really nice day out.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Silver Strand revisted......

Good morning sunshine!
Some of my fondest memories growing up were of camping. Although we didn't do a lot of it, I remember it as very good times. We slept in tents and we slept in the back of my dad's camper shell. I also camped out with girl scouts, I think once. Funny memory I had from that was that we went to Butterfly camp, and we cooked some french toast for breakfast. We forgot to bring syrup, and someone came up with a great idea of putting orange juice on them as syrup. It was really quite tasty. I was also in the Sierra club during Jr High with my wood shop teacher. He took us backpacking to the High Sierras where we got to experience real hiking with everything on our backs. I remember it raining and snowing, but it was one of my best times in my life. I really wish I had kept up with it. I guess it's not too late, hopefully I can get my kids out backbacking someday. I'll definately have to get myself in shape first. My kids, I'm not sure they really understand what "real" camping is. We have a 22ft trailer with all the amenities; bathroom, sink, oven, even microwave. So, when we go camping, it isn't much different than being at home, other than having a different out doors. This weekend, we went to Silver Strand State Beach down below Coronado Island. We were there in November last year as well (see old blog post). Friday, as we pulled up, I noticed the water looked kind of funny. I asked my husband, "is that red tide?" and sure enough, it was. I had never seen it before, and it looked pretty weird to me. The waves crashing had a greenish tint to them, and during some parts of the day it even looked a little reddish. You can kind of see the tint in the photo below. I looked it up when we got home and found this information.
Red tide
Regardless, we had a great weekend and the girls both enjoyed their "camping", meeting new friends, building castles with dad, riding bikes, playing in the water. The only real bummer, was that they no longer allow campfires on the beach! So, we had to set up our fire pit (one of those movable, metal ones) in front of our trailer, and the kids wanted to keep playing in the sand (behind the trailer). So, not sure we'll be coming back to this beach, although the camp host did say they are supposed to be installing cement fire pits on the sand.
We got home and after cleaning out the camper, and getting laundry started the girls went swimming in the pool with dad. First real "bath" they've had all weekend!
Here's the cool "volcano castle" that Dan and the girls and all their new friends worked on together. It had a giant "moat" around it, so that when the tide came in the water would hopefully fill it. We didn't get to see that as the tide didn't come that high until middle of the night sometime and completely demolished the castle. Olivia was pretty sad about that.
Volcano castle
For more photos, see my Flickr set.
Other fun things we did last week included visiting my new friend, Rachel's house here in town to see her peacocks. I met her in my photography class, and she was nice enough to let me bring the kids over. Turns out she was homeschooled, as well as her 6 siblings. She is now finishing up college to be an RN. So great to meet a young adult homeschooler who is doing so well. We also met her younger sister who got along wonderfully with my girls. She showed them the rest of their 9 acres which included to sets of new kitten families, 6 golden retrievers, 13 peacocks, pheasants, baby ducks, cows, and several ponds. They had a lot of fun playing on a wooden plank bridge over a small stream (almost empty) and got to play on their trampoline. It's so nice to have new friends here in town, and I'm sure we'll be having them over soon to play and visit. I got some great shots of her peacocks. One male was "posing" for me and actually started "yelling" at me when I turned to leave.
Lovely blue
see more photos here.
We also went to Build a Bear with Violet's girl scout troop to make bears for charity. It was a lot of fun for the girls. They got to put hearts in the bears and stuff them and give them a kiss and a hug goodbye to be sent to foster children and orphans all over the world.
Olivia lovin' on the bear.
Another great week, in our great life!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Life is Good '07-the movie!

Craig from BC Canada posted this video from the Life is Good Conference in Corvallis, that we went to recently. It's really an excellent portrayal of the fun that was had. You can see Violet in quite a few shots, and a few of my pictures. Here's the link to the original posting of it.
The Wonderful Happens

Monday, May 14, 2007

Pokemon, evolution, & birds!!!

Violet's Pokemon

We had a lovely week, weekend, and a lovely Mother's Day. I recieved a wonderful breakfast cooked by Violet & Dan. Violet gave me a nice coupon book that she made which had; free pedicure, make my bed, make dinner, etc. Then we had a wonderful picnic at the park with my folks. Violet had gotten her stitches out on Tuesday, and her mouth has healed very nicely. She had a 4-H meeting Wednesday evening after a busy day of homeschool park day, and Olivia's gymnastics! We brought some brownies as they had a potluck prior to the meeting. They had new elections and Violet volunteered to be a officer-in-training. The board posts (president, vp, etc,) requires you to be in high school, and some of the other positions require that you be 9 years of age. Violet is 8, so the only position she was allowed was the training one. But, she is very excited about it, and it will be great experience for her. She will attend meetings and make phone calls for the group when necessary. This year, she has been involved in the dog training, photography and scrapbooking. It's been a lot of fun for her so far. And Olivia comes to the meetings as well, and gets a lot of attention from the older kids.
Violet sharing her Pokemon interests
Friday, we had science group here at our house. I had initially asked Violet what she would like to learn about this month. She said with a big grin, "Pokemon!!!!" I was trying to think of how we could tie in Pokemon to science, and asked Violet what she thought. She said, "well Pokemon evolve...." So, I thought, great, we could talk about evolution! I picked up some great books at the library (Evolution by Joanna Cole, Eyewitness Science-Evolution by Linda Gamlin, and The Tree of Life-Biography of Charles Darwin, by Peter Sis) . We looked at the books and talked about some ideas and tried to come up with a plan for our group. Well, after looking through the books and talking to one of the moms who had concerns about talking about evolution we decided to talk about "birds" instead. However, Violet still was able to share her passion about Pokemon with the other kids. I helped her come up with an outline and she talked about the different types of Pokemon and where you could learn about them (nintento, guides, tv show, books). She taped up some pictures that she had drawn of some of them, as well as some we had printed off of the internet. She gave each of the kids their own Pokemon card, as well as talking about how they "evolve". She did a wonderful job of sharing about them, and some of the kids seemed really interested in them.
pokemon cards
We learned about birds, their environments, nests, food. We made nature journals and sketched some observations out in the backyard, we listened to bird songs on the internet, we made pinecone feeders, we ate blackberries, sunflower seeds, and grapes.
Violet's observations
Here is some resources that we used:
Secret Lives of Common Birds by Marie Read (highly recommend, great
Eyewitness books Bird
Backyard Birds by Jonathan Pine (bird sounds, as well as other animals
Making pinecone feeders

Saturday, May 12, 2007

My Child

My Child.....

Is a slayer of dragons, protector of princesses, in her golden crown and purple robe, and long shiny sword!

Is a Super Hero out to save the world from evil-doers, and save kittens from high trees and returning them to young children in distress.

Is a builder of castles, ships, moats, with her legos as her building blocks.

Is a lover of stories of far away places, knights and kings, Superman, Spiderman, Dora & Diego.

Is an artist who uses the world as her canvas; sidewalks, scrap papers, leaves, twigs, rocks.

Is a happy, funny, spirited, thinker, cuddly, player, runner, energetic 4 year old who is out to conquer the world.

Written for MSO-My Child

Thursday, May 10, 2007

My Celebrity Lookalikes

Saw this on another site. Couldn't find a match for mine, but thought it funny that it showed Olivia looks like Jim Carey!!!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Rough two weeks... but getting better!

Capt Hook
It's been kind of a rough two weeks. The day after we got back from Corvallis, Violet had 3 teeth pulled. I've honored her wish not to take any pictures of her. She had two extra teeth between her two front top baby teeth and the adult teeth above them. The adult teeth would not come in unless the extra teeth were pulled. She also had an extra eye tooth as well as her front top baby tooth being a double tooth. Poor thing, got her mommy's teeth. I had teeth pulled as a kid, because my mouth was too crowded. I remember covering my mouth with my hand when I smiled because I had "fangs". I wonder if I would have been as self-conscience about it had I not been in school. Violet has never mentioned her teeth bothering her and I've never heard anyone tease her about it. I think she has a beautiful smile, and I tell her that often. I had to wear braces for a couple of years. They were the retainers, not the "railroads". My mom says I wrote notes to her after the dentist would tighten them, because it hurt to talk, telling her I hated her. Oh gosh, I don't remember writing that, but I do remember being quite angry about it. I really felt bad for Violet going through this. She of course, was not happy about it, but we discussed it beforehand, and talked about why it was necessary. Had the roots of the adult teeth hardened and grown much more into the nasal cavity, it would have created worse problems for her. It took a week for her to start feeling better, and then, poor thing, she got an ear infection. In the meantime, I came down with a sore throat, and Olivia had a fever for a couple of nights. Lastly, I got an infection on one of my fingers and had to go get antibiotics for it today. I think we're all finally on the road to recovery.

Violet was feeling well enough for her book club today. Two of her friends came over and talked about the book Peter Pan. Her friend Erika brought a paper craft where they made "never birds", and they played out some of their favorite scenes from the book. They had fun, and I got to catch up with an unschooler friend and update her about the conference. Her daughter, Maile, wrote a beautiful song and sang it for us, and made a Peter Pan diorama with her little brother, Glen.
Violet & Maile
Today, I went out front and helped Dan with the borders for the front yard's landscaping. He has sod coming in tomorrow, and needed to get the borders down. I think it's going to look really nice when it's all done. I'm holding off posting pictures (of the newly painted house) until the yard is done, so you can see the before and after.
Here he is getting dirty, laying sprinklers.......
Big boys still play in the mud!
While we were out there, Domino was running around stalking birds, and climbing the maple trees. Got a couple cute shots of him up there.