Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Holiday Memories

Well the holidays are almost past for another year. However thankfully I have become a major picture taker so we will have lots of photos to either post online or put into our scrapbooks for future viewing.

Our Christmas was a nice one, we stayed home this year and just enjoyed the quiet of a small family Christmas. The kids got lots of fun gifts this year and they spent most of Christmas Day playing with all their new stuff.

The customary Christmas Eve present...NEW PJ's!
Johnathan got a new nerf gun, and Dad had to play with it also.Santa brought Hannah these cute Littlest Pet Shop stuffed animals, now she can play online with them.And Hannah got a beading kit, I see hours of necklace making....well after hours of picking up the spilled beads!
Yes...they got Ipods...now maybe they will leave mine alone!A very funny movie...Kung Fu Panda..."prepare to feel the thunder"!Johnathan got a professional microscope and some really cool slides. Science is one thing that he is really interested in.

And once again I am surprised at how fast they manage to rip through those wrapped packages that take me forever to wrap! No I didn't save any paper, bows or ribbon! :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Winter Fun

We have had an unusual week of snowy weather. But along with the snow has come almost zero temps and ice covered streets. This has caused the kids to start their Christmas break early. But because of the temps and the freezing winds we haven't been able to go outside much. Yesterday it started snow again. It was the perfect snow for snowmen and snowballs so we all bundled up and went out to play.

Hannah and Johnathan begin rolling their snowman!

The finished product. They couldn't find things to make a snowman's face so we used food coloring to make the nose, mouth, buttons and hair.
Jim showing how easy it is to kick a snowball!
What is missing here is, Hannah had just dumped a huge pile of snow on Johnathan. See her smile, she was so proud of getting her brother first. I love the look of revenge Johnathan has behind her! WATCH OUT HANNAH!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


What a treat, we woke Sunday morning to see snow falling. We don't usually get snow here in the winter, our weather usually just falls as rain. So the kids immediately wanted to go play in it and make snow angels. The snow balls started flying as soon as we stepped out the door. Hannah was a little put out by the powdery snow, she wanted to build a snowman.

When it snows here everything closes, so all the schools are closed today. The kids are enjoying another day off, while I am ready for them to go back to school. I still have stuff to do around here before the holidays arrive. And the news is calling for more snow later in the week. Kids may not have school for the rest of the year.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Scouting Adventure

Yesterday Johnathan had a Cub Scout den meeting at the Rice Museum of Rocks and Minerals. The den was completing their geologist badge, so they needed to see some specimens of the three types of rock. Hannah got to tag along also and she enjoyed seeing the museum again and bringing her camera along. The boys asked some really great questions of our tour guide. It was nice to go along at a slower pace and take some photos and really just look at some of the amazing rocks, and crystals they have on display. After this outing both of the kids are wanting to go rock hunting to see if they can find some of the amazing rocks they learned about yesterday.

Oregon's state rock the thunder-egg. This one is opal filled.

Hannah taking photos of Oregon's state gem the sunstone.

Downstairs in the museum they have a large room filled with petrified logs. These are petrified pine cones.

This is the museums prize exhibit, it is the worlds second largest collection of Rhodochsorite. This crystal is more rare than diamonds.

At the end of the tour our guide let the kids look for a rock to take home from the giant rock pile behind the museum.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Rocks and Minerals

Today I joined Hannah and her class for a field-trip to the rock museum. They are learning about rocks and minerals in class right now. I spent 4 hours with twentysix 7 year olds looking at crystals, agates, thunder eggs, sun stones, and petrified wood. Some of the the crystals are amazing and the kids loved seeing all the different shapes and colors rocks and minerals come in. I show several examples that were amazing, and I even learned a few things.

But I must say I was really glad when we got back to the school and I could leaver everyone of those cute and loud 7 year olds with the teacher! I don't know how that lady does it everyday.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Another Day Off

The kids have another day off from school today. Last week they got out early on Wednesday for the holiday and as usual they had Friday off. Today the teachers needed the day to get report cards ready.

Now I understand that teachers have a lot to do each day and that is supposed to be the reason they have early release on Wednesdays. But how many days do they need off a month to get things complete? In the month of December the kids only go to school for 12 days.

The kids love these off days, and I enjoy having them home but nothing gets done. My entire weeks schedule is all messed up on these weeks. The usual stuff I do on Mondays will not get crammed into Tuesdays. In my opinion its getting crazy the amount of in-service days that teachers have, the kids are out of school more then they are in school it seems.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Holiday Fun

When you think holidays do you think crowds? Last night crowds is what we thought and crowds is what saw. The Oregon Zoo opened their annual Zoolights display. The first night is free to all zoo members, so being a zoo member we decided to go and check out the displays and all the fun.

Our first adventure was getting the kids on the Max train and seated. The next adventure was trying to get the kids off the train at our stop. I was a little concerned that we wouldn't be able to get from our seats and out the doors before the train moved on to its next stop due to the amount of people crammed into our car. We were successful and everyone made it off the train in plenty of time. Thankfully we had a zoo membership and didn't have to stand in the very long lines to get tickets.

Once walking through the gates, we were greeted with the sounds of the season, Christmas music was in the air along with crying children and grumpy adults. Thankfully we had neither in our group. I enjoyed trying out my camera taking pictures of all the lights and displays. The kids loved looking at the lights. Jim was ready to go home about 10 minutes after walking through the gates, he was a real trooper and I think he even enjoyed himself.

Thanksgiving fun

We all know what women doing on Thanksgiving...they do all the cooking and getting things ready. Men spend their day watching football, eating and then taking a long nap to digest all the food they just ate. Kids on the other hand are just kind of there....so what do kids do on Thanksgiving??

They go play at the park !!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Turkey Day

For the past 3 Thanksgivings, we have stayed home and just had a little family dinner due to me having to work the day after. Thankfully this year I am not working retail and we are able to visit family for Thanksgiving. This year we shared our Thanksgiving dinner with my parents and one of my sisters. It was nice to spend time with family and enjoy all the laughs.

Now that dinner is over, the dishes are done and all the leftovers are put away we all seem to have the same expression on our faces. We all have that happy after turkey dinner glow or is it the glow of over eating and now we all feel stuffed like that bird. Either way dinner was wonderful and we all ate our fill. Tomorrow its back to watching what we eat and hitting the gym each morning to get ready for the next holiday meal.

Monday, November 24, 2008


It was time for a change. I have been growing my hair out for the past year and it was below my shoulders. But I never did anything with it other then pulling it up into a ponytail or a poof with a scrunchy. This weekend I have had enough and got my hair cut! I went from long, do nothing with hair to a shorter then chin length bob. I love it! And so far everyone who has seen the change says its very flattering and that it looks really good. I'm really happy with it and it feels wonderful. As soon as possible I will get some photos posted!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Smells of the Season

I love all the smells that go along with Christmas and New Years. The smell of peppermint, hot chocolate, evergreen trees, wreaths, cinnamon and the spell of crisp cold air.

Well today we get our first addition to the holiday smells. Our wreath we ordered from Johnathan will arrive this morning. I am planning on hanging it right up today. Its made of evergreen and cedar so it lasts a long time and smells wonderful. Again this year we got the candy cane shape, and we will wrap it in red and white lights so it stands out when our Christmas lights are turned on.

Unlike some of our neighbors we took our lights down after the holidays last year. All that means is we have to put them up again this year. Jim is not looking forward to that, I am so picky about how they should go up! We don't have any special theme, we put up multi-colored lights along with the red and white ones. Last year Jim took some of our green lights and made a tree shape on the side of the house. The kids loved the lights!

I know that officially the holidays haven't started, but I am already feeling festive.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Kids Activities

This past week was full of places to go and things to do. The kids had some fun activities last week. Hannah gave her first speech of the 2nd grade, it was about her family. She was very excited to bring home the paper showing that she met all the requirements and had passed her public speaking segment. Johnathan has to give his speech this week, and if he doesn't start practicing it he won't do very well I'm afraid.

Johnathan had his 5th grade music program last Thursday. He got to get up in front of the audience and make sound effects. He had to sound like a train and a chicken. He got embarrassed making the chicken sound, so it was really quiet. It was funny to watch all the kids, they all had the same expression on their faces. They all looked bored and just wanted to go home.

Hannah's big event happened on Sunday. Her girl scout troop went to a synchronized swimming clinic. The girls got to design their own swim suits and head pieces. They got to have competition makeup put on and learn how to stretch before getting into the water. They also learned how to do land drills (doing movements on the pool deck before doing them in water). And then they got to get into the pool and practice some moves. It was a fun outing for Hannah and the other scouts. ( Mom/leader enjoyed it also.)

It was a busy week, but full of memories and fun! This is what having kids is all about! :)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Our Schools

This week I agreed to volunteer another hour of my time each week to the kids school. I was called by a friend to see if I would be willing to help with an after school reading program. And since Johnathan goes to this program, I figured it would be good to help and see just how the program works and how it is helping Johnathan. I will help each Thursday for an hour after school, and add this to the hour I spend helping lead half of Hannah's class in the computer lab each week.

But what I can't get over is how much help our teachers need from parent volunteers. There just doesn't seem to be enough hours in the school day for the teachers to get everything accomplished that they are now required to do. In the years that I have been helping in the kids classrooms, I have done everything from making copies, to leading a class activity, to testing kids in reading and math. Some of the activities I have done seem like they should be performed by someone on the teaching staff, but with the lack of teachers the school need parent help. I am thankful that I have the hours to give the teachers. I wonder how some of the teachers get anything done without parent help. Growing up I remember my Mom helping in the classroom, but for parties or special events not on a daily basis. And some of the Moms I know spend almost as many hours at the school each week as their kids do. To me this seems wrong. Makes me wonder what our schools would be like if the volunteers were unable to continue.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Remake vs Original

Yesterday the kids and I went to the dollar movies and saw the remake of Journey to the Center of the Earth. The original is one of my all time favorites, so I wanted to see what the remake was like. Unlike the original, the remake takes place in modern day, and other than sharing the same title really had a totally different story line. The kids enjoyed it, and honestly I thought it was a cute movie. However the remake will not make it onto my favorites list. Then while having dinner the kids wanted to see our copy of the original movie. Johnathan quickly lost interest and Hannah gave the comment about 25 minutes into the movie that the new one is better. So much for the classics.

I understand from the stand point of wanting to introduce younger generations to classic movies, but remakes most of the time butcher the original story lines just to make them gory and more action packed than originals. Many times I believe that movie makers should leave the originals alone and instead of trying to put a new spin on an old movie, come up with something of their own that is original. Our movie industry is just after the all mighty buck, and seems to have lost the desire to make a really great movie. In my opinion this is just another example of how money has changed our society and not for the better.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Feeling Crafty

For the past week I just keep having this feeling that I want to do something crafty.

I hate to admit it, but I have neglected my crafts for over a year now. My scrapbooks are so far behind that I am overwhelmed with were to start. And since I haven't done anything with them lately, I have no idea as to what supplies I have and what supplies I need to get. Yesterday I went into the closet that has all my stuff stored and just looked around at all the piles I have, then I turned around and just walked away. Getting started just seems like such a huge task right now. Feeling very frustrated about this. At this rate Hannah will have a 2nd grader of her own before I am able to complete her baby scrapbook!

Friday, November 07, 2008

Busy, Busy, Busy

One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone doesn't show up when they say they will. A week ago I agreed to cut fleece blankets for my girl scout troop for the Linus project. One of the other parents said they would drop off the fleece Monday so I would have all week to get the 5 blankets cut. The parent was a no show until 9 p.m. on Wednesday night. Now being a person of my word, I spent all evening and most of today getting the blankets cut and ready for the girls to finish at the meeting this afternoon.

Why is it so hard for people to follow through with what they volunteer for. In my opinion if you can't do what you say, then don't volunteer.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Fall in the Northwest

Well its officially fall here. The rain arrived early this morning and has been pretty steady all day so far. I am taking full advantage of the kids being at school and the housework being complete....I am relaxing on the sofa with my book and the laptop. Might even sneak in a little nap before the kiddos descend on the house once again. Oh sure the rain can get really old fast, but the first big rainstorm in months is always enjoyable.

I did take some time to play with the camera this morning and got some neat photos of the fall colors out our back door.

I love the green moss that forms on the trees and rocks in the northwest.

Such vivid oranges and greens. These pictures are not at spectacular as the real thing. I am by no means a professional, but its fun to play around and to share what I feel is beautiful.

Trying to get a good shot of rain drops in the tree limb.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Making History

Well according to the news its official Obama will be our next president. Relief is what I feel about this along with excitement and over all joy. This is such a historical moment for us and for our children and their future. I for one am very happy that I was able to witness such and event.

Johnathan has been following this election for the past several months. At school they held elections in his class, he was full of questions. He even watched the debates with us and voiced his opinion. Right now he is very happy to have been awake to see the race called and learn that Obama won.

This is very exciting and a great choice by the American People!

Christmas Gifts Already

I just finished wrapping my first Christmas gifts of the season.

Saturday Jim and I spent an hour online doing Christmas shopping for the kids. We got our first shipment today and I quickly wrapped them before anyone gets home from school. I am so excited to be finished for the most part on my Christmas shopping. Johnathan is completely finished and I have a few things left locally to buy for Hannah. Can't forget the new pj's for Christmas Eve either.

Like last year, we will spend our holidays here at home just the four of us. Don't get me wrong having a big family gathering would be fun, but with everyone living so far away that just isn't possible. Spending a nice calm, quiet, relaxed day with the kids playing sounds like heaven to me. Realistically it will be calm and slightly relaxed, but anything but quiet. The kids will be excited and then the fighting will start as normal around here. But I still call it heaven.

Just Getting Started

Wow--my first post, I am really excited about this. The purpose of creating this blog was to have a place to vent when needed and for family and friends to come and keep tabs on our busy lives. I make no promises to post daily, but will do my best. Who knows there may be days when I post several times a day depending on my mood and what is happening in our world. Keep coming back and checking on us, we would love to hear from you also so make yourself at home and spend some time with us!