Sunday, December 23, 2007

Saturday before Christmas Tradition

This year we decided to try a new tradition of going for a drive to see Christmas lights while sipping hot coca (and mochas and eggnog lattes) while munching Candy Cane Joe Joes.

First step, get the drinks, went well.

But after a few miles driving around the cocoa and cookies were gone and we all started feeling like this.

So we made this monstrosity our last viewing.

This individual residence had lights coordinated to music which they somehow broadcoast to 104.1FM! Olivia and Noah being pumped full of chocolate and sugar happened to notice that the Rudolph on the roof was emitting "snow," so we let them out to check it out, in there jammies and all.

Hm, that snow smells a lot like Ivory...

Us and our thin skins were chilled to the bone so we packed up and headed home with one more stop to check out the lighted tree at the civic center down the street from us. Can you see the kids in the picture for reference?

Olivia, who is faithfully counting down until Christmas, asked if we could make this our "3 days before Christmas new tradition." I modified it slightly to be the "saturday befoer Chirstmas tradition." We'll see!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Visiting Royalty

Our favorite canine house guest is back for 10 days. This is the sweetest dog you will ever meet. So we are giving him the royal treatment. Noah and his friend are anyway, while giggling hysterically taking turns putting the crown on. It was so cute I didn't have the heart to stop them even though I knew I should for Murphy's sake. Good thing his is such a patient dog.

Love notes

Olivia's newfound interest in writing has now taken form in leaving us notes around the house. The other night when we all went to bed we found notes on our pillows. The one on Noah's pillow read (not that he could actually read it,)

I love my brodr Love Olivia

Our were very similiar except substituting in the appropriate family member's name. But for some reason I really loved the one she left for her "brodr" best.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Olivia's hippy school

My friends laugh when I call her school this, but it is. The school doesn't give grades, at all, through 5th grade. Instead at the end of the first trimester Olivia got a "written narrative," I was encouraged to share with her. Sounds like she is doing pretty well. Here is what her teacher said,

Olivia- You are becoming a Room # super star! You know what to do in our classroom and you do it! You are friendly, respectful and polite! You listen to others and you share your ideas. You play nicely with your friends, take turns and share! Way to go! You go to each activity and try your best! You know letters, numbers, and shapes. Yeah! We'll begin writing stories soon. I'm looking forward to your stories because you are creative and artistic! Is there something you'd like to learn about? Let me know! Keep up the good work! :)

I think Olivia is in good hands with someone who likes exclamation marks and smiley faces as much as me.

Olivia discovers YouTube

It's not like she's not on the computer enough between and But don't worry, I am NOT leaving her unattended on YouTube! The only reason we went there was to find a video of the songs she will be preforming for the school play. And we did, and I'm so excited about them! The first one is really fun and upbeat, and the second one Olivia already knows all the words to, wow!

These probably won't interest you very much unelss you have a 6-year-old girl who will be singing them in a school play, but that's me so I'm posting them! I am very, very, very about this experience for her, did I mention?

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Well, at least I'm at Olivia's level...

This is how my blog's readability was rated. My friend got a Genius level. I'm feeling pretty inadequate right now. I'm just trying to keep it simple for you folks out there, really.

cash advance

Cash Advance Loans

Gingerbread house tradition

My friend has a tradition of having a bunch of us over every year so the kids can decorate gingerbread houses. It was wonderful, we had hot apple cider and I brought my favoriate soup and cornbread. The house smelled so good, and I think every surface under 4 feet got sticky. Everyone had a blast.

Unfortunately the houses didn't even last until daddy got home to see them. They started to fall apart in the car on the way home, and even with my repeated attempts to reassemble them, the kids sweet tooth got the best of them and the houses just aren't built for the nibbling factor.

I'm so glad my friend has the patience to host this every year. She even made the kids each an apron and we got to keep them when we got home. Wow! All I can say it is WAY more than I would attempt to do!


Evem though I vowed not to buy any more clothes until we got a new roof, the call of the good deal got me today and I was uncontrollably draw to our local Goodwill. I bought all these things for a total of $12. How could I not?

Notice that four of the items are Banana Republic. Any one of them would have cost at least twice as much as I got all of them for. Somebody stop me!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

It's a mystery

For some reason Olivia has been pretending she's solving mysteries. Ok, I know exactly the reason, from a TV show. We watch too much TV. But, she is also learning to read and write, so I feel ok her brain is not rotting too much.

In any case, she wrote in her notebook the other day a pressing case. If you can't read it, it says, "Why ded mom cook By Olivia." I didn't help her at all with the letters and I thought it was pretty good she only got one wrong.

On the next page it says, "Because she liked to," which I didn't think I should include because I feel it's important to be truthful in my blog.

Knit machine

That's what Travis calls me. Yes, there used to be a time when I'd cook meals and clean the house, but it's winter and I have my priorities. Here are my latest. A Danica scarf and a Calorimetry head band. With beautiful Pantons SWS yarn which is self-striping. The colorway is called Natural Navy and I love the colors.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My new favorite potato chips

These sound strange, but they are so good. The perfect combination of sweet, salty, and spicy. In fact, I'm coming to realize I'm a huge fan of buttermilk baked in all kinds of things, but I never would have thought potato chips before I tried these.

And while we are talking about great products from Trader Joes, if you have one near you, you MUST try these cookies.

I'll stop before I get us all drooling, but I just had to share.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

An educational day with Aunt J

We spent the day yesterday with Aunt J from Georgia who was in California for work. First we hit the Monarch Butterfly Natural Preserve at Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz. During the winter over 100,000 monarch butterflies rest there. It's quite an amazing sight to see them fluttering around up high in the trees. But a harder sight to get a good picture of. But I did manage a few clear ones through the telescope someone had set up.

We couldn't leave without at least hitting the beach for a moment to take in the scenery and climb some rocks. It was surprisingly warm and sunny for December.

While there someone told us about a place down the road we had never heard of, The Seymore Marine Discovery Center. After stopping to get some Super Burritos for lunch we checked it out.

We found out it houses the largest complete skeleton on display anywhere, ever, of any kind. A blue whale, which we also found out is the largest animal on earth that has ever lived, even bigger than the dinosaurs were. There are only 4 blue whales on display in North America since they are deep water animals it is very rare their skeletons are found. But I also found out that there is virtually a grand canyon under the sea right off the Monterey Bay, which is really unique to have such deep water so close to a coast. How have I lived here this long and been to this beach so close so many times and not known this?

We learned all kinds of really interesting things, but before I bore you any longer with science, here is Olivia and daddy next to Ms. Blue. It actually makes me kinda sad because they think she recently gave birth and avoiding predators which explains why she was close enough to shore for her carcass be found, and weakened her enough to die because of the spent energy nursing. Her calf wouldn't have been able to survive without her and probably died too. :(

But on to a cheerier note, here is my little sea otter and octopus.

They also had tanks to touch live star fish and tanks with dolphins and seals they have in captivity for research we were able to see, and on a tour saw some sea lions in the ocean.

Overall, quite the educational day! It's cool we can learn so much when all we were trying to do was plan a fun day for Aunt J while she was here.

To wrap up the day we caught the Holiday Train that comes through the bay in December and went out for ice cream at Cold Stone, but I was way burned out for any more picture taking. ;)

Art Day

We live in walking distance to an art museum we hardly ever go to. Last saturday they had a family hands-on day, so I sent daddy with the camera and the kids so I could have some time without my family.

They got off to a rocky start with choosing which ride-on they were going to take and a few falls while deciding, which I watched very amused while I was pruning the Rose of Sharon bush, but finally they were off.

But don't despair, they got there and art was done.

Noah had to be a clown, of course.

Which tired him out enough to have a nap on daddy's lap. Check out daddy's chops he's growing.

And before long they were home, I heard the crying approaching me down the street. Both had fallen, but Olivia got hurt badly enough to warrant a band-aid on her face, poor baby girl. But overall I think it was a successful outing.

Our house is a very, very, very fine house

I don't know if I've ever mentioned that I love our house and we are very fortunate and happy to have it. That said, I'm not so happy this is what it looks like right now.

The paint is peeling and Travis has just started the job of repairing it. This is what it looks like after he pressure washed the old paint off. Lovely, huh? It's really not a big deal since it's stucco, it's fine like this. And it's on the side of our house that is the very least visiable, so that's the really good part.

You can kinda see the spot he did in the new paint to see how it works. Also, the love note he wrote for me in primer. I got me a romantic one. ;)