Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Violet's pumpkin
Have a safe and Happy Halloween!
Violet designed and carved this one by herself!

Wordless Wednesday

Violet's cookies

***note edited photo, because Violet didn't like it........

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

10 years!!!!

Dan & I celebrated our 10 year anniversary, and my birthday in Cabo San Lucas last week. While there, we missed the fires that occurred in San Diego. Our daughters were home with my mom and were safely evacuated. We are all home now, and so very thankful to my mom for getting them out safely! Although, we were quite worried the first day or two when we heard about it (we were on the cell phones numerous times), we were finally able to relax and enjoy our time together. I took soooo many photos (of course!!!) and have posted a set on Flickr. I'll post a few favorites on my blog too, soon. Here is Dan & I the 1st or 2nd day (notice-no tans yet!) that I took with my camera on timer. I forgot my tripod and had to use whatever was available for photos of the both of us, so you don't get too many of those. But, I had a lot of fun taking pictures of the beautiful scenery while there. It was clear, blue and warm. A huge contrast to the smoky, skies we saw as we came home on the plane. We even saw flames still burning in the hills from the plane. Weirdest thing though, as we drove into Ramona on Saturday from the airport, there was a rainbow over Ramona. And, I remembered that as we left the hotel in Cabo, Iz's Over the Rainbow was playing (and stayed in my head for a long time after), and I knew in my heart, everything was gonna be okay........
As I pulled into my mom's driveway to see the girls, Violet came running out "Mamma!!!" and gave me a huge hug and wouldn't let go. Olivia was hiding in the house and when I saw her she came running and gave me a huge hug and had the biggest smile on her face. I didn't want to let either of them go.......I missed them so much and called them 2x and 3x a day.......we're in for a huge cell phone bill! I'm so happy to be home.

10 years ago....
Dan & Mandy

Monday, October 29, 2007

San Diego fires-family update

Just wanted to let all of our friends and family know that we are fine! I wish I could of posted sooner, but Dan & I were in Cabo San Lucas for our 10 year anniversary when this all happened, and the girls were here at our home with Nana. They were evacuated from Ramona and spent the rest of the week at her home about an hour from here. Our home, our pets are all safe. We came home Saturday, and spent the night in Murrieta, but are now home cleaning up the mess. We still do not have drinkable water, but water was given out at several local places. Thank you so much to all those that called and sorry I have not been able to get back to them all. We couldn't pick up our messages on our cell phones while in Mexico. Thank you to all for the offers of support and help. It's good to know that we have so many friends and family that care about us. We will let you know how you can help those less fortunate, if you are interested, both in our town and locally.

Thanks again!

Dan, Mandy, Violet & Olivia

Thursday, October 18, 2007

My girl Olivia

Olivia in the garden
I just looooovvvvee her soooo much!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Some more of the kids..........

A couple of kids
a couple of kids
Baby pygmy goat
Isn't she just the cutest kid????

Wordless Wednesday #4

goat love
for more WW go here, and for more of of the "kids" go here.

I've entered this for Shutterbug showdown's theme Hugs & Kisses, if you'd like to join in, go here.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

BSM - At the pumpkin patch

Takin' a break
I just love watching her as she sits and thinks about who knows what. I hope she remembers this moment and looks back at it with happy thoughts.
For more Best Shot Monday photos, go to Picture This!
BTW, here's some more shots from the pumpkin patch if you feel like checking them out.....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Riding my trike

Tricycle fun
Just some fun shots of Livie riding her trike in the back yard this morning.....

View On Black

and jumpin' on the trampoline!
Pooped out!
and poopin' herself out! LOL

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wrapped Emotions - Go Feel Life

Cat rubbing Heart rubbing
This week's challenge:

This week let's do crayon rubbings. You will need an unwrapped crayon and thin paper such as tracing paper, onion skin paper, or tissue paper and your eyes and finger tips. During the week observe the texture of the world around you while at home, work, shopping, exploring nature, where ever you go. When you see or feel a texture that captures you, take a piece of paper, lay it against or wrap it around the object. With the side of the crayon rub across the surface, leaving a print of what was underneath it. Walls of buildings, manhole covers, tree bark, observant...find something that speaks to you...makes you feel something from sight, then touch it.

I had so much fun with this week's challenge at Wrapped Emotions, that I made two of them. And, will probably make more with the kids (they're not interested at the moment). First, what came to mind was the typical outdoorsy nature rubbings, that I've done before with the kids; bark, leaves, rocks, etc. But, as I looked around this week, the things that stuck out to me were the things I have chosen for my home. Things that I enjoy looking at pretty much everyday. My colorful stained glass window with cats on it that hangs against our back sliding door window. A swirly patterned metal basket that hangs on my dining room wall, a woven basket, and a little gold colored wire basket that Olivia frequently plays with and always ends up out in plain view somewhere in the house. I loved the abstract patterns that it made when I made my rubbings on it. I started with the wire basket with swirly patterns on it. I was drawn to it because of the swirly designs. I just started rubbing, then thought it'd be neat to make a heart shape with it. Then, ideas just started flowing and I thought how it'd be neat to have a different background swirling behind it, so I used the little metal wire basket that Olivia plays with with a different color. I used some pastel crayons because they are just so much brighter and were easy to use. As I was sitting there working at the table I looked up and as I often do was looking at the colored glass window. It's so colorful and just puts you in a good mood looking at it. I love cats, so you see cats throughout my house in many forms. I took the paper and rubbed one of the cat profiles on the paper, then added the swirly background to it.
Wire basket Stained glass cat
heart shaped wire box
I then, went back and felt the textures of the original pieces. I don't know why I didn't do that first. I guess they aesthetically appealed to me first, then I remembered Melody's suggestions of touching it, physically connecting with it. I closed my eyes and felt the swirly basket on the wall. I love the curves of the metal. It's cool to the touch. It makes me think about the artist's vision and work that went into creating it. I wonder if he/she gets a sense of accomplishment or pride when creating it. I wonder if they are as happy with how it turned out as I am. I wonder if they know that it brings simple joy to another person. Then, I wonder if my art will bring joy to another person. Or, does it matter. I'm finally at a point where it brings me joy. Not only do I enjoy the process, but I get to look back at it, and feel the emotions that it brings to me.

Wow, I'm really surprised about what I just wrote. I really wasn't expecting that. I have never felt pride or contentment with something that I've created and now I'm getting to do that. It may not mean anything to anyone else, but I can enjoy it and I can be content with it, just makes me feel really good!

For more of Wrapped Emotions or to join in go to the link below!
Wrapped Emotions button

Club Mom photography contest

A shameless plug to ask you to vote for me, if you find this photo worthy, for a photo contest over at Club Mom. I'm using this photo that I posted a few posts back. Thanks! And if you enter, I'll be sure to reciprocate the vote!! Voting starts 10/12/07.

Just go to this link, to vote. THANKS!!!! BTW, this is the first online photo contest that I've ever tried out for. Wish me luck : )

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trick or Treat!!!!! BSM

Ghost Mickey

My best shot Monday for Picture This. Taken at California Adventure Park while there for the Parents Blogger Halloween Reception at the Grand California Hotel. The girls and I went trick or treating in the California Adventure Park. It was a "treat" to meet Tracey Clarke as well as again seeing Elaine from Wannabehippie. More photos from our day in my Disneyland Flickr set.

For more BSMs check out this link!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Picture This - Wide


Running in wide open spaces........something my girls love to do. Especially, when we go to park days with our homeschool groups. We moved to where we live now not only for my husband's commute to be shorter, but there are wide open spaces everywhere. There is a large field next to us, and many beautiful parks and areas to play in. For more "wide" pictures go to Picture This.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Wrapped Emotions - Legal Grafitti

This week the challenge at Wrapped Emotions was to create Legal Grafitti.

This week let loose...get edgy with your your spirit...absolutely no fear. We had enough of that last week. This prompt is not associated with any tangible or figurative wrapper. I simply want you to experience the fun of creating. This week we're working to feel the emotion of JOY. Not necessarily expressing the actual word or symbolism of joy in your can celebrate shoe polish if you choose. But enJOY the process. Let's create our own graffiti.

Graffiti artists develop their own styles. They work quickly, intuitively, randomly and never stop the process to think about what to do next. You should try anything, everything...collage, paint, stains, spray paint, markers, colored pencils, markers, stencils, doodling, marks, lines, swirls, symbols, written words, calligraphy, images (photos, magazine cutouts, photocopies, sketches), stamps, prints...whatever.

Think of urban graffiti walls. The art is vibrant, multi-layered, freestyle, textured. Do not over think as you work, and do not think neat, orderly. Think juxtaposition. If you have time, go on a search for public graffiti walls in your city or search online for images. Get inspired.

So, that's exactly what I did. I got out my girls' markers and some paper and just started doodling. I've always enjoyed drawing girl's side profiles. I like drawing flowers, and I like using bright colors. As I drew the flowers and the leaves and flowers, I thought about growth. Words just flowed as I drew; peace, love, dreams, smiles, reach, souls, hugs, harmony, family, gentleness, respect, growth, fairies, make a wish. I thought about how when I walk through fear, get past the tears, get past the pain, there is always growth. And, growth of a flower bed represents the growth of me. It was fun drawing swirly shapes, abstract flowers, and writing in her hair. Violet joined in and drew one of her own. I'll post it soon. It was a fun challenge. I remember doodling a lot when I was in school, and it seems I lost the desire to doodle for a long time. Now, I get to doodle a lot, especially since both the girls like to draw and create too. We get to experiment together. For more Wrapped Emotions go to:
Wrapped Emotions button

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Wordless Wednesday #2

Little cousins

story behind the picture:
A Superhero's View

Good things come in small packages

The Small Is Beautiful Manifesto

I think it was my mom who must have told me this when I was young. I was always smallest amongst my peers, and perhaps due to my birthday, but also because I took after my little nana on my dad's side. Anyway, when I saw this link on Tracey's blog, I checked it out and instantly fell in love with the button as well as the message behind it. Also, if you remember Wrapped Emotions & Picture this both referred to Jen Lemons site when she wrote the beautiful post about her letting go of fears ritual. So, I've just added the button to the side and excited to see what transpires.
Here is their manifesto:

The Small is Beautiful Manifesto

We believe stories are valuable, no matter how many people read them.
We believe following your passion is more important that watching your site
We believe in the handmade, the first try, the small start, and the good
We believe that small is beautiful.

To join us, add one of these buttons to your blog. Just copy and paste the html code to link to this page.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month-Hope has color, it's pink!

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I took these photos of some pink mandms that Olivia picked out at the store the other day that support the Susan G Komen fund. Go buy some today!
Susan G Komen

Here's a closeup!
Pink m&ms

Olivia picked some, so should you!
Pick pink m&ms, Olivia did
Hope has color, it's pink..........
You can sign up for a mammogram reminder here. And more info at American Cancer Society.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Violet's blog

Come visit Violet, she has a new post up with some exciting news!

Rappaccini's Daughter

Princess cupcakesThis is my yummy shot for Best Shot Monday, over at Picture This. They are some Fairy muffins the girls and I made to sell at a production of Rappaccini's Daughter that Violet and her friends were in on Sunday. The recipe is in Usborne book's Fairy Cooking. They have raspberry jam in them, and taste like scones. They have a lemon juice and powdered sugar drizzled on top. Here's a whole plate of share with my blogger friends!

Show me the money
Violet and some of her homeschool friends decided to put on a play by Nathaniel Hawthorne, Rappaccini's Daughter. It is a play about the original Poison Ivy. Violet was the treasurer and performed as the narrator.

"Presenting......Rappaccini's Daughter!"

They had an intermission, where they provided the treats, and pizza and drinks. It was held in our friend's backyard. The girls created backdrops, and programs, and dressed up as their parts. They did all the work themselves, without help from the parents. Pretty amazing group of kids!