Saturday, November 29, 2008

Happy Thankgiving...whew this week is flying to share....
Here's Kendall and cousin Audrey, 1, from Santa Barbara...the 2 youngest at the Thanksgiving Feast at Grammy & Grampy's (my in-law's).
Us! (spencer with his award, to be explained in a few pictures).

Spencer went golfing for the first time at the Annual Thanksgiving Day Golf tournament. He was the winner of the under 16! (The first time they did this award!).
Here's Grandpa Lepere, the winner of the adult award (the 10th year of this award).

The table all set...

Leaving for golf.

What I see whenever I go to get the girl out of her crib...she is always standing!

With my Spencer at his kinder feast. I took the day off to be mommy and hang with his class.

Eating with Atheina, his pre-school buddy and in his kinder class. This was after the fire drill that happened as the kinders were getting their lunches...not a pretty scene!

Spencer and his kinder buddies: Nathan, Parker, Aidan, Thomas, and Jake!

Doing an Indian dance with Rhylie, one of his "crushes".

We've had a good week off. We hung around the house a lot...relaxing. We had a playdate at McDonald's, and now they 3 boys are at the movies watching Madagascar 2. I am at home, supposed to be cleaning, but I was reading the unpublished and now discarded Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer on the's the version of Twilight told from Edward's point of view. Yes, I got sucked into the Twilight world, and I am hooked! It is such a great read! What a love story...I am half in love with Edward myself...if you haven't read it, go read it now! I stayed up until 2 AM reading it the other night!
That's all for now...better go get something accomplished! :-)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Amy's Book Reviews

OK, it's time for some more book reviews! Here are some books I've checked out of the library lately....
The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule: I was really excited for this book, and it's only OK. It's worth a look, but I was hoping for more ideas and pictures. Now, I'm not finished, only half done. I am enjoying it, and getting some good ideas for nurturing creativity in my house, like family drawing time with each of using our own artist's notebooks, and using art clips as a display area (big binder clips mounted on a wood board), but I was hoping for more projects and more pictures from the author's family on the creative things they do! I do recommend at least checking it out of the library. Her blog is

The Toxic Sandbox by Libby McDonald: This is kind of a scary book, but informative, too. It talks about the worst toxins our kids are exposed to and what we can do about it. She discusses lead, mercury, plastics, etc. It includes scientific findings and those are written in a way that are easily understood. She also tells us what we can do to protect our kids from these toxins. I know I'll be asking for lead testing for my children at their next doctor's appointment!

Eat This, Not That for Kids by David Zinczenko: full of pictures and info on what foods/meals are the healthiest for our children. Tons of pictures of real foods: restaurant choices from McDonald's to Olive Garden (did you know the Whopper Jr, hold the mayo becomes one of the best burgers to get), food from the market (Rice Krispies have no fiber, don't buy; Frosted Mini-Wheats are a better choice...didn't see that coming!), and lots of good tidbits. I think we may just have to purchase this. The author also has this book written for adults!

Crafty Mama by Abby Pecoriello: LOVE this! I just picked this up today and already know I am buying this! Tons of cute crafty ideas that don't look too hard to do for those not craft inclined. I already found a few ideas for Christmas. Get together with a few mamas and craft (this is how the author started out. She has a blog at, but it's new and not many ideas on it yet). go get this one!

And last, A Year Without Made in China by Sara Bongiorni: Enjoyed this book, never realized how many things are made in China. This family had a hard time with toys and shoes, especially. I don't think I could give up the Chinese made goods (we rely on too many things!), but it's made me check the things we have, and I think I'll probably try to avoid buying some Chinese made products. A quick read.
Enjoy! And visit your local public library! :-)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

check it out!!!!

Love that this looks totally 70's! (though picnik calls it 60's!) It looks like it came from my baby book!
OK, I found the coolest is's called picnik and it lets you edit your photos...for free!...on the internet, nothing to download! Check out just a few I played with....and you can pull pics from facebook or flickr as well as your hard drive. I don't have any pics on the hard drive yet, so I pulled from my facebook page. But go, check it out!

Also, made a yummy dinner, a recipe (I changed a bit) from The 6 o'clock scramble. I'll have to find their site again, I lost all my bookmarks!!! It was a baked penne pasta with sausage and spinach and cheese. Very good!!! Spencer loved it, too! I recommend checking the cookbook out. I got it from the public should see the stack of books I have! :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Back up!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm back! I have been out of commission because the ole laptop crashed! We lost everything, though we, luckily, are pretty good at backing up our stuff! I think I only lost about 30 pictures and some journaling and old files. Joe lost a few songs from his itunes, but most were already on his Ipod...thank the message for the day kids is to BACK up your stuff...go, right now, stop what you are doing and back up!!!! :-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How can I pick just one?

She is too cute, and what can I say, takes awesome pictures! Here's my little miss...I am itching to buy some actions so I can play more with the photos...I need to spend time with photoshop lightening some of these, but hello, don't have much free time there's a few for you to peruse...have about 30 more...seriously!
It's hot today! I took the kiddos to the park and we were all sweating...even in shorts! This is not typical November weather. Global warming is really happening! I finally watched Al Gore's doc on that and man, it was good...even though I have heard so many say it's a hoax and not true....I believe it!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green girl

OK, trying to still go's a process! Done most of the easy things I can do: lighbulbs, conserve energy, recycle, reusable bags and bottles, chlorine free wipes, green cleaning products, personal products, etc...but now have to go a little greener, especially in the food area. I checked out from the library, Barbara Kingsolver's book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle about her year living off the land, so hopefully that will inspire me more! It's just hard with all that is going on to clear out the quick food options, but it's sooo not helping my children and my children are the ones who inspire me! :-) Going to institute the "green hour" and make sure we go out for walks everyday!!!!
I also picked up Deidre Imus's book Greening Your Cleaning from the library, and it's really good! She has some good ideas in it! I tried the toilet bowl cleaner: vinegar, baking soda and lemon, which you make into a paste, spread in the bowl and let it sit for at least a half hour. Works great! Seriously, using natural stuff is way cheaper! And I'm going to a Shaklee party next week. They make good green products that I have heard many people rave about! Sally, if you want to come, let me know! :-)
So, anyway, just an update...though it's not always easy...Joe got laughed at with his Whole Foods reusable bags at Savemart! Oh sister has found some makeup options she really likes, I'll have to remember to post what kind she likes...
And sweet Patti, who must be so thrilled her kids are moving back to CA, bought me a kids' green book! I am so excited to use in my class! That was very, very thoughtful Patti!!! I love it!
no pictures...I was bad this week and didn't take pics...poor K had her first baby cold and she looked miserable. She's almost all better...thank goodness! It's hard to be a working mom with a sick baby. Even a part time working mom!
Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Crafty crafty

On Sunday evening, I got to go have some girl time and some creative time! Yippee! Sally had a fun evening planned with her friend Jen. You have to check out Jen's blog since she is starting her own craft business.

Here's the clock I made. Fun! (Also made 2 picture frames, but I need to add the finishing touches to them first!)

And for Sally, here's pictures of my First Days of School lunchbox. Each year, I'll take a picture of my kids on the first day of school and make a small card with the picture and some notes from the day. Got the idea from someone on Two Peas In A bucket scrapbooking site...sorry that I cannot give credit to the exact person!

We're fine here...Kendall got her first tooth yesterday! We also had the day off and went shopping with my mom. She's brave to take on me and my 3 kiddos! It wasn't a very long trip, luckily!

Excited that Thanksgiving is almost here...though we will miss Jenny and Justin!!! We'll eat a turkey leg for them! :-)

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Back and better and long winded

OK, I'm cheered's the weekend! :-)

Made scrambled eggs with mushrooms and pepperoni and cheese for breakfast...yum! Kendall slept in until 7:30...go baby girl!

Got my organic onesie I won from It says "My stroller is a hybrid". I'll have to post a pic of her wearing it. The site is pretty cool, and I have a code for 20% off if you want to order anything, let me know!

I've been cooking a lot more lately. We got in a bad (and expensive) habit of not planning our dinners very well, and then having to go pick something up. I've been making meal lists for the past 3 weeks and doing better. We haven't eaten out in awhile...actually can't remember the last time we did. I make the meal list, Joe does the shopping, sounds good! I've been wanting to try a new recipe a week, as well as eat our standby favorites: spaghetti with meatballs, tacos, etc.

We've had new recipes: lasagna soup (a hit), mac-n-jack salad (pasta salad with pepper jack was OK), mushroom egg souffle (needed more zip, chiles, maybe? But Spence dug it!), and what else...hmmm...can't remember. I've been getting recipes from the pre-school cookbook. You know those are pretty easy and kid friendly. I've also put two mom and kid friendly cookbooks on my library hold, so I'll be sure to post reviews.

So excited that it is November...Thanksgiving and Christmas are these times of the year! Plus, lots of school vacations! My little hitter was still out yesterday. And now another student is gone after his mom made a threat to our office manager. Crazy...I actually work at a good school, not sure where these drama kids are coming from! He actually isn't in the school boundaries, so he goes to "his" school on Monday...whew...luckily all of his drama happened in the afternoons, so I was out for those times! Maybe things can settle down...sure you want to be a teacher, Michelle??? A lot of veteran teachers are thinking of leaving because we keep having to do more and more testing the kids, more paperwork of the testing and strategies, more things they need to know...if we each had a personal secretary, we could maybe get it all done, but we don't. As it is, my Fridays are full of assessing, which I then take home and copy the results into an Assessment Binder and onto weekly progress reports for the parents, and some of those results get copied again onto forms to turn into the office...thank goodness I have only 20 kiddos...19 now! But it truly is about the kids...I love 'em! and to see them reading already, wow! I love it! Next step is to focus on the writing. First graders think they have to spell everything correctly, which of course they don't nor do I expect them to! And I want them to use words like "suddenly" or "horrible" and not follow me around asking me how to spell it...I read somewhere (think it was Lucy Calkins) that we praise our babies for their first steps, which includes lots of falling and tumbling, and first words, which means lots of babbling and incorrect grammar, but when it come to kids' writing, we expect them to be perfect right off the bat! I told my class that analogy to make them feel better. Spelling is only one part of the writing! They seemed to understand that (sorta) and wrote more. I'm trying to help Spencer with that, too, as he begins writing. He's doing great at it! Always uses his spacing! :-)
OK, off my school soapbox now....if you're still there...

OK...GIVEAWAY...not on my blog, silly, I don't have anything to give away that you'd want!...but one of my FAVORITE blogs... is giving away this printer combo that looks awesome! She's picking the winner soon so check it out if you are interested! Keeping my fingers crossed!

And my 7 month old!

Love feeding her in the bumboLove eating when my big brother helps!
And somebody got a cute new haircut!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Mood: So-so

Maddie, this is for wanted an update....

Feeling so so right now....loving the cooler weather and early bedtimes...7:30 now for the boys!

Loving my happy mail from Charleen...another book! A sequel to a mystery book she sent me a while ago...THANK YOU! :-)))

Loving that I re-discovered the "hold" system at my local public library. I just went down my wish list at Amazon and put 17 books on hold for me through the Valley's library system. Save some money! Now, I just have to make time for them when they come! Ha! I'm number 141 for Tori Spelling's bio...that'll be a while before that comes.

But I am also tired...and tired of being tired...and broke and hoping this doesn't mean I have to go back full time next year...argh!

Tired of the ants in our house...just a few here and there...but they won't leave! We've done all the tricks to get rid of them, but then there's one or two on Kendall's changing table (ewww!) and there's a few in the bathroom sink (???) and there's a few on the cutting board....go away!!!!

And I had a student hit me today...yes, a little 1st grader. The last two years I've had some really awesome kids...and some real stinkers....not sure why...yes, she is suspended after I carried her kicking and screaming all the way to the office. Then I come home and carried in a kicking and screaming Cooper in the house. Man, I have a headache now. He's asleep now on the couch...and my 7 MONTH OLD TODAY (can't believe that!) is napping, too. I am going to make some tea, and something to eat and veg...

So anyway, Maddie, is that what you wanted??? Sorry if I seem grumpy...I better go recharge and relax...I'll be back when the mood is Happy, or at least, positive! :-)))))

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Yay, it didn't rain after all! :-) We all enjoyed our day. The kids all had parties at school, and even Kendall got a whole bucket of treats that she won't be able to enjoy! But we will...

In the afternoon, we went to Grammy's to make her special tortilla cookies and play. I got these cute pictures of my jack-o-lantern. Kendall is wearing the same costume her brothers wore on their first Halloween! It's a tradition!

In the evening, after a quick dinner of hot dog mummies (the picture is blurry...),
we went trick-or-treating with the Adrians (another tradition). Kendall stayed home with Grandma. The weather was warm, and thank goodness, dry! The kids had a blast, but boy, it sure tired them out! (And us!) Monica was a trouper, 8 months pregnant and she kept up.

Here's the gang before we started: my doctor and fireman and Indiana Jones (Aiden) and Yoda (Kyle).

The Dads carried the youngest by the end of the night!And how was your Halloween?