Thursday, December 31, 2009

New Year, New Plans

So in a few hours, it will be a new year! And a new year brings new promise, new hope, new opportunities, and a chance to start fresh...looking forward to this! Lately, I've been in a funk, and need to shake it here's to making a new start....

My Resolutions:
1. Less time on the computer...or better quality time...less time surfing the blogs. I've come to realize I get a little depressed reading blogs about pretty families, with perfect homes and lots of fun activities all the time. Come on, I need to see the messy playrooms, the not so perfect kitchen, the times that mom makes a box of mac and cheese for the kids for dinner instead of a perfect, healthy, balanced meal...I have a few blogs I enjoy, and I love getting ideas for decorating and projects, but too much is too much for me (make sense???)

2. More Mommy time with kids...they are only young once, and I need to make sure I spend more time on the floor playing with them. even if I'd rather veg on the couch reading US Weekly while they play with the lego creations, I need to build those legos, too!

3. Learning more about my camera....starting a photography/camera class online Jan. 7! Woo-hoo, can't wait!

4. Doing more fun trips/day trips with the family. This fall, I saw 2 young families devasted by the deaths of a parent. 4 sweet children growing older without a parent...and I BET their parent would give anything to have more time to spend time making memories of doing activities and playing, and not wishing for time for sleeping or chatting on facebook. But it is nice to be in our pajamas until 2 PM on Saturdays, too...

5. Taking better care of me! Sleep more, drink more water, eat healthier, exercise....

OK, 5 is good, right? :-)

And I also am rereading (or simply finishing!) a few parenting books:

1. The 100 simple Secrets of Happy Families (short)

2. 12 Simple Secrets Real Moms Know by Michele Borba

3. Love and Logic Magic for Early Childhood by Jim Fay and Charles Fay (the best techniques for raising and disciplining kids I've seen...and I've seen/read a lot! Just makes practical sense!)

4. The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman
5. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families by Stephan Covey

Anyone want to read with me? Book club anyone???

Your turn: what are your resolutions?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


Cousins Layout
Me and my boys right before Kendall was born (Jenny took the pics) Cooper as Superman when he was 1!

Spencer turning 5! Cooper and his "tar" (guitar) and how it made his day the year he turned 3!
So, most of you know I'm a scrapbooker...I love taking pics of my family and writing down memories in our family journals, so of course, I love scrapbooking! I've been so busy, and so exhausted in the evenings lately, so I haven't been very productive! But I was reading Laura's latest blog entry and felt inspired! The other night I actually stayed up until 2 AM scrapping and going through Spencer's disc of kindergarten pics to make sure I developed the ones I wanted to finish his kinder pages in his school scrapbook (and then being awoken by Kendall at 6 AM...that's another story!). But I took some pics a while ago to share some of the pages I've done. I'm such a simple scrapper, and I start by scraplifting, but during the process, usually end up changing it to fit my own idea, so I apologize if any layouts look a little familiar, I did start by looking at magazines or my idea books. But again, it usually doesn't look like the one I started scraplifting! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas recap

Anyone else feel a little depressed on Dec. 26??? You wait all year for this magical season, have all kinds of plans and expectations, and's over like that! We started our December off so strong, with daily plans and tons of activities...and we did do many things! But this week ended not as planned...we spent a fun day in San Fran with friends, seeing Steph's Wizard of Oz at her theatre, but then Monday came along and Joe got sick..and Jenny got sick...and nobody could play with me! The kids were bonkers! Candy, Santa, staying up too late! And Christmas came and went so fast! And Joe was still sick...he's finally better...this afternoon...but I"m ready for a fresh start, so the decorations are all done and the ornaments safely put away until next year..and I'm feeling a little to come...we spent our Christmas Eve (actually Dec. 23 rd since Megan had to leave Dec.24) at my parents' house, and forgot my camera! Ooops..but luckily, Jenny always has her camera and is as obnoxious as I am over taking pics of my just waiting for her to send the disc of pics to me!
Wishing everyone a happy last few 2009 it just me, but I am ready for a new opportunities...resolutions...what about you????

Saturday, December 19, 2009

December Lovin'

Spencer's 1st Grade "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" performance! (See him in the red and brown pj's!)
Santa visited the Brown Family Christmas Party at Grammy's!

Cousins! Santa visited Cooper at pre-school

(He also visited Kendall's school....and she kissed him! Miss Michelle is emailing me the picture...I will share!)

Hot cocoa after school!

Our family gingerbread house! (Already destroyed...Kendall tried to eat all the candy off the roof!)

Kendall sitting on the stack of Christmas stories that we unwrap and read....saw this shot on another blog...hers looked much better....oh well.... Cooper reading one of the activities they find when they open the Advent Calendar.
Hope you are enjoying your holiday season as much as we are! I've been working hard to make it a great holiday for the kids....trying to do a lot...baking, lights, hot cocoa, Polar Express, games, crafts, everything! If you are my Facebook friend, you know I've been posting our daily activities. So far, so good! We're officially on vacation! Whoo-hoo!!!! Planning lots of reading, crafting, playing...tonight Jenny and Justin will be in town! Can't wait to see them!
I'm sharing some of the pics from enjoy...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

All aboard!

Today we got our first gift of the season...thank you, Mom and Dad...for a fantastic day on The

Polar Express in Sacramento! We started with a fun and delicious lunch at Joe's Crab Shack, then visiting the Railroad Museum (every little boy's dream),(and girl...:-) followed by the surprise of the day for the boys: (This is Spencer right after Grandma told him the good news!)a trip on The Polar Express, complete with hot chocolate, singing, the North Pole, Santa, (this is when we were at the "North Pole")(Is your name on his list???)and the magical bells (can you still hear them ring? I do!). Spencer declared, "This was my best day!" What a blast!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Almost December! :-)

It's almost here..the most wonderful time of the year....lalala! So excited! Last year, Joe and I were sick on and off in December, plus stressed about moving, and broke, and so on...and this year we are determined to have a wonderful holiday! Here are some of the things we are doing:
*Already got our's up and decorated and smelling good! It's huge, too! This is the earliest we've ever gotten a tree! Yippee!
*Tomorrow starting our advent activities. Need to type up the list of activities tonight. Need some ideas? Check out this list I found: Advent Activities. I stole some of her ideas, too!
*Also, wrapping up a Christmas book for each night. The kids can unwrap one and we will read! I found a site that lists activities for several books, but don't think we'll be doing too many, after school and homework and life, time is limited....

Anyway...that's a start! Bring on the hot cocoa! Hope your holiday is great!

Thanksgiving was fun! Yummy food, family and friends! Aunt Meg with KendallCooper at his pre-school feastDaddy and Spencer leaving for the annual Brown Family Thanksgiving Day Golf trophies this year, though. But they had fun!Need to crop this still.... :-)We loved our week off together! Somewhat refreshed and back to work...3 weeks until Christmas break, but I know it will fly by. The old calendar is already filling up: Bunco tomorrow, Christmas cookie exchange, family Christmas party, Polar Express this weekend!!! Have a super week! One last bloggy blog worth mentioning: Cut the Crazy Out of Christmas!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Well, hello there....

Yes, it's November...but we've been busy, busy, busy!
Updates on:
Kendall: 19 months, active, loving, loves shoes! Silly, friendly, happy! Undergoing some medical tests b/c she is so tiny, not gaining weight. BUT we are not worried...if you could see her, she does not sit still! We just had Spencer's soccer pizza party and she was dancing up a storm to AC/DC "Back in Black" and cracking up the whole restaurant! She is so cute! Cooper: fun, helpful, sweet, tough, loves video games and Legos, all boy, loves playing with balls, adores school, does his own thing, Daddy's special buddy right now, they are inseparable!

Spencer: sweet, loving, kind, smart, loves reading and math, LOVES school, eats a ton now-he's growing!, just ended his first soccer season (Go Lions!), not sure if soccer is his "thing", he realls wants to join Skimmers (swimming team).
Papa's birthday party!
Veteran's Day: we rented a 13 person van (so fun!) and travelled to Fresno to go to the zoo with the Fresno Brown's, too! Fun day, capped off with a pizza party.So many little kids now! Crazy!

Touching the sting rays!
Feeding the giraffe!
Here is some of the group! :-)

And now, it's BREAK! Yippeee! I'm ready! Just want to veg with my kids! What about you?
And because I like to share, her are some of my latest internet finds...

Interesting Blog entry about being frugal and/or broke, or just simplifying our lives to what really matters: My Daughter Won't Remember (made me think)....
Kind of local blog: Sassy Saver (if you like her, she is coming to Merced soon to teach people about the secrets of coupon clipping! Let me know, and I'll let you know the time/place)
Have I shared this? Family Rules Canvas! Love it!!!!
LOVE this blog and LOVE this post about decorating cheaply (and prettily)...anyone have any furniture they want to get rid of or sell cheaply???? (she has good friends!:-D)
Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

First Christmas Gift

I just made my first Christmas gift purchase: water for Christmas! Doesn't that sound like a good idea? Water, something we think of that is a given in this world, isn't safe or healthy for many people. This blog entry (BTW, it's a fun blog!) made me immediately go and buy this gift. What do you think?