Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday links

Is she almost ready to crawl?
He loves his baby "Kennel"
Spencer and his favorite toys: Star Wars Legos!
in case you are surfing the net, check out:

Have you taken the Break the Water Bottle Habit challenge yet? It's super easy your reusable bottle almost anywhere now. We added a faucet filter, too, so now we aren't buying any bottled water...well, me for sure! :-)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

For all the aunties and grandmas...

Cooper likes pretending he is a baby!
Kendall's quilt from the pre-school in the background!
...who need pics of the cuties....

We are happy it's the 3 days weekend! Yipeee! Even Kendall slept in until 7:25 today...and she usually gets up around 5:50! Thanks, KK! I need a break...this 3 children thing is h.a.r.d!!!! I thought I was pretty organized, had the 2 kid thing down, but then add another one and I'm off balance. Getting ready to go is a challenge. The other day we went to drop off Spencer at church for his church group, and he was being clingy and not wanting to go in...and I had Coop asleep in the car, Kendall strapped in her heavy infant car seat (man, do I have muscles in my arms now!), and it was HOT! I waited until another mom pulled up and made Spencer go up with her...I am so outnumbered...but hopefully it will get easier...right?!?

Congrats to Monica and Allen who found out this week that baby #3 is a girl!!! They have 2 boys already. Our kids are pretty close in age (Spence and Aiden are 4 months apart, and Cooper and Kyle are 9 months apart). So Kendall will a new friend, too! I look forward to making memories with our kiddos with this family!

Spencer is still loving kinder! He comes home singing songs and talking about the stories they are reading. Here's a pic of his first school project! He wanted to add some things they brought back from Yosemite.

No big plans for the weekend...just relaxing, probably a family movie night, Grammy's yummy spaghetti sauce recipe for dinner tonight. What about you??

Book promotion: Ok, so most of you know I LOVE my Gorgeously Green book...well, I have a new favorite, it's very similar, but geared specifically for parents. chock full of good info, but not a scary book...lots of good ideas. If you have small kids and worry about the dangerous toxins in toys, food, baby care items, even pesticides, check this book out. It's a very friendly read!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Yosemite Boys

So my Spencer and Joe went to Yosemite for their first annual boys trip with Allen and Aiden. They had a blast! Hiking, swimming, campfires, s'mores, the whole deal! They can't wait for next year. They have lots of stories to tell, including the big one about the big brown bear literally right outside their "cabin". They stayed in the cabin that consist of three walls of concrete and the fourth is a curtain that serves as the door, so not the safest out there, but hey, it's the great outdoors! However, when a flimsy curtain is all that stands between you and a bear, that's pretty scary! The bear showed up around 2AM, attracted by another family's food that they left out (and who faced a big fine the next morning!). Joe and Spencer could hear the bear tearing into the cooler and then heard some voices saying, "Bear! Bear!". They woke Allen, and Joe and Allen watched the bear outside, but Spencer stayed under the covers, so afraid, poor boy! Joe said tons of people came out of their campsites to see the bear, and when the rangers' car pulled up 10 minutes later, the bear took off. But how freaky!!! Joe said he had felt pretty safe at the time because Allen is a police officer, and he always travels with his gun.

However, the next night as they were getting ready for bed, both little boys started crying and wanting to go home, so they ended up leaving around 9:00 PM. That bear incident had freaked them out a bit, I think! Joe said that poor Spencer was shaking all night, my poor little guy! But he still had a blast! I am glad that they are home and safe and sound!

Spencer and Aiden in the Merced River.Allen with the 2 boys on a hike.

Joe and Spencer with Half Dome and on a hike (Vernal Falls, maybe?)
A picture of the bear (can you see it?)The little guys with Half Dome.
Hiking up a dry falls.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kelli said to try it.

OK, saw this on Kelli's blog, so I had to try it. You try it, too! It does make you think!

I AM...tired! Waking up twice a night to nurse is not so fun...
I WANT... my children to enjoy their childhood.
I HAVE... a full life.
I WISH I COULD... travel more with my family.
I HATE... worrying about the future.
I FEAR... this time with my small kids going by so quickly.
I HEAR... my kids playing.
I SEARCH... for a simpler life with less things.
I DON'T THINK... that I could move away from family for a while.
I REGRET... not saying goodbye to my grandma and my aunt.
I LOVE... Mexican food!!!
I ACHE FOR... my Grandmas' warm embraces.
I ALWAYS CRY... when I read Charlotte's Web to my students.
I AM NOT... happy with my "green options" for laundry yet.
I DANCE... to disco and it makes me happy!
I SING... to small children only! Oh, and with the car radio all the time!
I NEVER... want to be without my camera.
I RARELY... enjoy cleaning. :-)
I CRY WHEN I WATCH... old videos of my children.
I AM NOT ALWAYS... managing my time wisely.
I HATE THAT... I can't get everything done that I want.
I'M CONFUSED ABOUT... what God's plans for our life are.
I NEED... to clean the office!
I SHOULD... be making dinner, but Joe is picking up dinner tonight! :-)

Saturday, August 23, 2008


1. Looking for a new carseat for your in between car seat-booster child? I did the research and bought the Graco Nautilus for Spencer. Sadly, he has outgrown his Britax Roundabout...loved loved loved it! But he hit the 40 lb. mark this summer...The booster-ish seat in the Britax family looks awesome, The Frontier, but is close to $300! I am not sure how much longer I can keep him in a traditional car seat...he knows his friends are moving into boosters, but technically, safety-wise, he's not ready! The Graco seems great because it's 3 -in-1, so it fits kids up to 100 lbs! Think I can keep him in a booster till he's 100 lbs??? But he likes has a handy cup holder...and will eventually turn into a high back booster, then a no back booster...when he's like 7 or so...right?!?! Plus the Graco is about half of the Britax! Came quickly from Amazon, though the website says it takes 5 weeks. I think it took less than a week!

2. I've been doing a lot of reading lately, though it will slow down as the school year moves on...already feeling that no time for books pinch...but have to plug the site once again! It's very green, too: re-using...not to mention cheap! I've been able to get quite a few books lately from that site! Again you post 10 books that you'd like to "swap", and get 1 credit. Whenever someone requests one of your postings, you ship it to them via media mail (usually around $2.50) and receive another credit. You can request books with your credits. You can also make a wish list and sign up for automatic ship. I have one coming to me any day this way, but am out of credits now! You can even purchase credits for about $3, which is way cheaper than buying books! Most of the books have been in great condition, a few were a little worn, but nothing horrible. I usually read, then re-post to send on! I also signed up for, which works the same. I have a few credits there. The best part: these sites are free!!! Book lovers, check it out!

3. What else??? Wow, again, 2 posts in 1 was a laaazzzyyy day...can you tell? Coop and Kendall didn't feel like sleeping much and it was too hot to go anywhere...ahhhh...looking forward to fall weather! *Though I did take Coop to McDonald's for a special treat, the Star Wars Happy Meal and a Southern Style chicken sandwich for, it tastes so good...just like Chick-Fil-A...mmmm....that's one thing I won't be able to cut out of my diet...

4. Pictures from the good old county fair in July and one of my 2 kiddos that I was hanging with today!

(Taken with my old camera...if you are on the fence about getting a new camera, go for really makes a difference in your pictures!)

what a week...

We survived our first week of school! Spencer loves kindergarten! The second day of school he was up before 6 AM to go! Ahhh!!!! By the end of the week, he was so tired, I had to wake him at 7:15! Today he slept in until 8! We did have a few weepy moments...he saw another boy crying for his mom, so he held onto me tightly and got teary-eyed, and one day his water thermos leaked all over his the Klean Kanteen, but it does leak if it's on its side!

But for the most part, we have a happy kindergartner! And I love that when he sees me a school, he always blows me kisses! My sweetheart! :-)

Cooper and Kendall are enjoying their mornings at Michelle's. Kendall's been mostly sleeping! Michelle has a blog about her own cuties...check it out! The post about her 1st grader son sleeping with his sunglasses is hilarious! Side note: Kendall has ditched the pacifier, prefers her thumb now...and sucks her fingers likes this! Rock on!

Trying to be a little greener about my classroom, too. I really would like to encourage my kids to be a little greener, too. I am going to ask parents to bring the Cleanwell Hand Sanitizer instead of the purell. That triclosan is everywhere now...I was pouring some refill soap into our bathroom soap dispenser and noticed it had triclosan in to the trash it went!

Triclosan, you say, what is that?

Read this blog entry, from Green Arizona:

"From a scientific perspective, you should rarely use antibiotics and antibacterial cleaners. Crazy? Think about the claims, they kill 99.9% of bacteria. That means 1 in 1000 bacteria doesn’t get killed, because it’s resistant to whatever you just used and that’s the lone wolf that’s going to propagate a whole new army or resistant bacteria. That’s the undeniable truth of microevolution. So the next time you need to come at it with something stronger. It’s nothing but a vicious arms race, except that bacteria can evolve and antibiotics and antibacterial cleaners can’t.If that wasn’t enough reason, the most common antibacterial agent is triclosan, a nasty chemical in hand soap, deodorant, even toothpaste and many other items.

Triclosan with mixed with chlorinated water, most tap water, turns into chloroform. This used to knock people out and even kill things. We really want this in our toothpaste?

Good Bacteria: There are plenty of good bacteria. We couldn’t live without bacteria. They break down food like starches for us, help promote the storage of energy in fat (maybe not so good), help make vitamins we can’t make (like Vitamin K), strengthen our intestinal system, and help us fight cancer. Wow! Bacteria are awesome, some anyways. So it’s important to remember that while we’re killing bad bacteria, we’re killing good bacteria too. And dealing with a few weak (non-resistant) bacteria is good for a healthy immune system. And washing your hands with non-antibacterial soap and warm water is just as effective without the side effects of resistant bacteria.

Good Choice: If you still want to kill bacteria, like after your child put their hands in who-knows-what, Clean Well is a great natural alternative and now is found in common places like Target and Whole Foods. They make hand sanitizer (triclosan and alcohol free) and a triclosan free hand wash. And they still kill 99.9% of bacteria, including salmonella and E. coli, while being biodegradable. What more could you ask for?"

Happy Weekend! :-)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Dear Spencer:

Yesterday you began the next chapter of your life....the first one that Daddy and I don't have complete control over...but you are so happy! Your first day of kindergarten was wonderful! You weren't nervous, and you couldn't wait to go back when school was done. I'll always remember walking hand in hand with you into school for the first time, introducing you to your principal, and taking you into your new room. The room was packed with parents and kids, but you weren't fazed. You hung up your backpack and gave Mrs. S her small gift we got her: an apple candy. You were a little disappointed we forgot her apple (a new tradition we started in pre-school), but you brought it today. Mommy and Daddy loved watching you discover your new room. We both were a little emotional since our baby is starting school already!

You are so lucky that you have your best friend Jake in class, as well as a few other friends. I know you love having me right next door. I see you wave when your class heads out to lunch, and I LOVE that you blew me kisses when you saw me yesterday on your school tour.

I look forward to you growing and hope your love of learning continues. I am so thrilled that your adjustment into kindergarten was an easy one. Today you told me you wished you could go all day! Mama isn't ready for that! I love that we get to leave together at noon!



PS: my first day went great! I really liked working with my new partner, and our kiddos seem very sweet. It helps that I am in the same grade twice finally...after teaching 3rd, 2nd, 5th, 4th, and 1st the last five years...and first grade seems much more manageable this year!

My class

Sunday, August 17, 2008


Here are some scrapbook pages I've made lately...this is about our trip to Disneyland in 2007.
This is about Coop's 2nd birthday...colors are kind of washed out...
This is just a quick one of Christmas 2005 Page 1 of Spencer's graduation...library card pocket has my journaling and pictures of all the family that came to watch him graduate!

Here are some pictures also:

Coop at Chuck E. Cheese (if you are going, check out their website for coupons and kids' incentive forms for free tokens!)

The night we made's Joe and Coop's pizza! We also watched 101 Dalmations for our Family Movie Night.Little Miss Kendall is 4 months old!My goofy goofy kid! He is been so silly and hyper lately...think he's gearing up for kinder??? Love that kid!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

School's in...

...for me...not for Spence yet...he starts KINDERGARTEN next Monday! Wow!!! Time flies...he is excited, but nervous, too. But he has friends already..cousin Jake, Jenna, Atheina, from pre-school, Nathan...I am excited and nervous, too...hope I don't cry! But he'll be right next door to me, which since I have to work is a great thing for me...and him! He is excited about that part.

Tonight we're doing our annual pizza-before-school-starts dinner...Chuck E. Cheese! My boys can't wait because they have never gone, but they know the commercial well..."Where a kid can be a kid!".

Kendall started daycare this week and she seems to be doing fine! We love her babysitter (hi, Michelle!) and there are 2 other babies her age there. Today when I went to get Cooper and Kendall, she was laying on a boppy next to another baby (Sophia?), and when I picked up Kendall, the other baby started crying. They are friends already! :-) Coop, of course, loves going to "Gabby's house". He asked all summer when he could go.

Lazy about my pictures...need to download onto the I'll see what I can dig up to show are some "blasts from the past" of Cooper!

Enjoy the rest of your week!

BTW, Sally said the Ecos laundry detergent is pretty good...and they sell the big jug at Costco! We tried the Ecover dishwashing detergent, and it passed Joe's strict test with flying colors! Just FYI for you "greenies" out there!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Summer's End...

So how'd I do? These were my Summer Plans:
1. Swim lessons for boys CHECK!
2. Organize the office/scrapbook room HMMM...I did work in here a lot, it is more organized, but have a ways to go
3. Scrapbook A LOT ....CHECK! Well, I did pretty well, I think
4. Trip to San Diego and Legoland CHECK!
5. Sarah's wedding in Malibu (Spencer's Godmother's daughter) SADLY, this did not was a busy time, we had all kinds of stuff going on, so I did not make sad to miss the wedding of the year...heard it was perfect and romantic!!
6. Play a lot with my kiddos CHECK!
7. Host lots of BBQ's UMMM...we got lazy and didn't do much of this...
8. See Margo (next week!!!) CHECK
9. Lose weight (it's not falling off as quickly this time...) UMMM...still have 10 pounds to go
10. Become more Earth Friendly and Healthy for my children CHECK...still a work in progress

Tomorrow is my first day back to work...ugh...and I have to work full days this week. :-(

Sunday, August 10, 2008

This makes us laugh!

The boys and I love this commercial!

Make sure you click on high quality so you can see their faces! :-)

Saturday, August 09, 2008

My sister Jenny rocks!

For many, many reasons...including her cool fashion sense and how I love shopping with her, and how giving she is...always giving me some clothes of hers (made out with a sweater and a red striped t-shirt this time)...and we love talking "green" together and celebrity gossip... :-).

Plus, she bought me this (a camera strap):

for no reason at all except that she is awesome!

I loooove this camera strap! It's so colorful and fun! I feel like a professional! And you can get your very own, Go check them out (and see how to win one for free)! She has all kinds of colorful fabrics. The strap is very well made, too! You'll love it!

So, anyways, love you, beautiful Jenny!!!!! SOOOO wishing we were closer. Thanks for everything!

Friday, August 08, 2008

2 posts in one day!

Wow! Here I am again...:-) Lucky you!

I am home with a sick child (Coop) and a fussy baby (KK, after her shots...oh, to be flexible...). Spence is off playing with his cousins. They were camping all week and he missed them. So, I am procrastinating with the between turning on Cooper's show: Caillou and patting Kendall's belly.

Blog links: I am really liking this one: and If any local moms are interested, I'd love to set up an artsy playgroup this year or maybe next summer. My boys love making things and always want those art crafts they show on TV...darn commercials! Yesterday we went to Michael's and Spence found a ton of crafts he wanted...I got the threading water punch that is hard to find...fellow scrappers, you probably know what I'm talking about...and picked up another copy of my guide: Gorgeously Green. If you are at all interested in becoming green, that is the book to have. I gave my copy to Jenny in SD, so I needed a new one.

Speaking of green, we are still slowly making changes...picked up a few things at Whole Foods like Ecover dishwasher tablets, new wipes (been toying with cloth diapers lately...or perhaps G diapers), new toothpaste, new body wash...but finding that nothing is quite perfect. oh well...liking the Kiss My Face shampoo so far.
I bought reusable water bottles for me and Joe. Pink for me! Bought Spence the Kleen Kanteen sippy for school. Cooper really wants one, but trying to decide which to get him. We don't buy water bottles anymore, and bought a filter for our sink so we aren't buying water jugs for the kitchen anymore.
Trying to use less paper towels...that's a hard one. But we haven't opened a new roll in awhile. Need to buy some cloths to use instead or better yet, cut up some old t-shirts. Trying not to use plastic bags, have 4 reusable totes for the market...just need to remember to take to all the stores. I didn't even think about the plastic bags I was carrying home from Michael's until we got home! I've seen several people mention that they just carry their things they purchased if they forgot to bring in a tote bag! It helps remind them to use their bags, I guess.

One of the simplest things we did was stick a crate in the kitchen for the recycles. It fills up quick with paper, cardboard, plastics (locals: you can put plastics marked #1 through #7 in your recycle can...thanks for the update, Patti!), etc. That is easy peasy! I am noticing how much food stuff we throw out and thinking about looking into anyway, we are no where near the green blogs I surf, but making our way! Every little bit counts!

We are even eating better...gasp! :-) Spencer is on the bandwagon, and is learning to make good choices. Saw this on someone's blog, seems cool: for helping your kids make good food choices.
It's interesting, but I think about my Grandma's house in Pasadena. A lot of what is suggested we do, she and my uncle were already doing. They always had those natural products in their home (shopped at Trader Joe's), and would use towels to clean up instead of paper towels. They would do things like put a plate over a bowl in the fridge instead of using cling wrap, etc...I find myself doing things I saw my Grandma doing and remembering her. I think a lot of this green movement is just taking us back to a simpler life with less. Do we really need all the plastics and wraps and bags? Do they really make life simpler or clutter up our home and planet?

OK, I better go actually do some cleaning (with my Gorgeously Green all purpose spray, of course)...we're going to the strawberry stand today to get strawberries to make homemade fruit roll ups!

Happy Weekend! Here's a layout I did about Coop (Quirks at 20 months) using the Kit of the Month from It's a great kit, still available! I also made Spencer's graduation layout, will post that later!

Lazy days...

We're still here...just having some lazy times...playing a lot. we went to modesto school clothes shopping for Spencer and Cooper got to do build-a-bear workshop with Grandma. yesterday the boys both had dates with Grammy. Just enjoying our last few days of vacation! I go back to work next Tuesday! Though I am part time this year: 8:10-11:40, next week I have to be there all day! I am going to miss my babies like crazy...especially my now 4 month old sweetie KK(who is cooing on my lap as I type this one handed)! She is as sweet as can, trying to sit up, loves to watch her big brothers...last night she slept from 7-3am, then nursed, then slept until 8 am...yay!

Today shots for KK, then getting set up for tomorrow's garage sale...yes, decided to do another one...clearing out the clutter! Love it!

More later...

Monday, August 04, 2008

Home again...

We are back from San Diego!!! Had a blast! Thanks Jen & Justin for the hospitality! We did: Legoland (awesome place...can't wait to go back!), toured a few ships in SD (Russian sub! Haunted ship!), hung out, good food (Santana's and chick-fil-a!), girl time (Jen and I went to the mall and Whole Foods) and of course the beach! Spencer surfed again and did better (though I didn't get any pics). Even Kendall enjoyed her day at the beach. None of us wanted to leave SD, but now we are home, with a pile of laundry and tons of unpacking. Good thing we have a mini-van for the kid gear you have to take on trips... Here are some photo highlights!

Spencer + Aunt Jenny

Kendall first touching the ocean
He was a good driver!

He...not so much...will be taking out extra insurance when he is 16!
Daddy tired out with Lego Man
Joe and Spence on this ride that is like a robot's arm and it tosses you around!
KK with her auntie and uncle!

New York made completely out of Legos!
Spencer and a "whoo-whee" girl

Update: Baby Micah (post below) is home now and all is well! Praise God! :-)