Monday, October 30, 2006

A photo...but not of Jennica I'm not posting a new picture of Jennica. I had great plans, showed up early to pick her up at Day Care so I had plenty of time to play "paparazzi", but totally spaced on the fact that it would be getting dark an hour earlier. And it is suddenly COLD here. We got our first good frost last night, and at 4:30 this afternoon, it was pretty obvious that it is going to freeze again tonight. I decided that trying to get natural smiles out of a cold toddler was going to be miserable. Will try again on Wednesday. Tomorrow Jennica's schedule (and that of her chaffeur) is booked for trick-or-treating.

In any case, I did get a few good photos today, although they are totally unrelated to Jen. I had a home inspection in Timbuktu. Seriously--2 miles from the nearest paved road--I clocked it as I will need to note it in the report. But Timbuktu has some gorgeous fall leaves, so I took time to smell the roses, or photograph the leaves, as the case may be. :)

Happy Halloween tomorrow!!!

Saturday, October 28, 2006


Grant's team had their last game of the season today against Montesano...And THEY WON!!! It was very exciting!!! They played a very good game and this was their first win of the season!! They're really not as pitiful as that sounds--but our association team rules are drastically different than the teams we play, so we have consistently played our fourth and fifth graders against older/larger/more experienced kids. Today was a nice end to a difficult season!!

And then, this evening we carved pumpkins. The only person to lose any blood was Mike, so the kids are all still fully intact with fingers and hands. It still makes me nervous to hand the boys a knife and say, "Go for it!!" The girls were pretty fascinated and were willing to dig in and help with the gutting, but got bored pretty quickly since we obviously wouldn't let them carve. We ended up with six great pumpkins and good memories!!

The attached photos are my two favorites from the shoot yesterday with the boys in the park. I particularly like the one of Grant!!! As Jennica is still the hardest to get to hold still for any length of time, she is still the hardest to photograph. My goal for tomorrow is to shoot some new photos of her, so with any luck at all, I'll be adding those late tomorrow or Monday.

Happy Autumn!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

I have bats in my belfry tonight...

I'm tired tonight, but I have that ADHD feeling of my thoughts just racing. I worked super duper long hours on Wednesday and Thursday, in order to get some orders done. Last night, this required returning to the computer for a couple of hours after Dane's football game. And then when I decided I was done working, Jennica decided to wake up with a stomach ache and was up until after midnight. And then I had to be in Ocean Park this morning at 9:30 for another appraisal I'm working on. And then tonight I volunteered for two hours at the Halloween Carnival at the school and worked my fanny off being nice to children that wanted to throw quarters at my assigned target to win prizes.

But, strangely enough, I'm feeling very "enthused" about life in general today. Life is GOOD!

1) Dane lost his game last night, but it was the LAST game, so from the parent standpoint, it was still a celebration at the end. (He played the ENTIRE game, so he is very sore and tired today. But he also didn't have school today, so he got to sit on his rear and recuperate at complete and total leisure. His highpoint of the game was realizing that he had just mowed over one of his best buddies from his baseball team. He and Sam have been good baseball friends for the last couple of years, but attend different schools, so now that they are in Junior High, they will forevermore play on opposing teams. Dane thought it was hysterical that he flattened Sam on a good block.)

2) I'm doing GREAT at the moment on deadlines. In fact, I've even submitted some orders early. This is the first weekend in a while where I will not have the little midget in my brain, "PSSSTTT!! You should NOT be sitting in this chair!! You have work to do!!!"

3) Even though I had to be in Ocean Park early this morning, it was a GORGEOUS fall day!!! One of the homes that I had to inspect has an incredible ocean view, so I measured their huge decks very slooooowly and enjoyed listening to the crash of the waves and watching the gulls.

4) The Halloween Carnival was BUSY, so the two hours went very quickly. Plus, it was fun volunteering with so many of the other parents that I grew up and went to school with. Yes...Its true...Nobody sane ever really leaves here. And if we do, we come back. So if you are a graduate of RHS, WVHS, or SBHS, and you are living "off-campus", its because you are sane. The rest of us are only allowed brief field trips out of town.

5) And I got to indulge TWO of my favorite hobbies today. Napping.....ZZZZZ......and taking pictures. I was totally drawn today by the leaves outside, so I victimized my two eldest children and made them pose in the park downtown for me today. Pictures will be forthcoming shortly.

Grant and Mike's last football game is tomorrow and then we will be FREE. WAHOO!! (Picture me doing "snow angels" on the carpet here!!) Not sure what we're going to do with all of our newfound free time. Perhaps it is time to paint something. Like a wall. Or maybe I can find a new faucet to fix. Heh heh heh.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

My name is "T"

Tiersten has recently become rather insistent that we call her "T". This has been an ongoing nickname around home for quite awhile, but I guess she's decided she really likes it. Mike snapped the enclosed photo of her this weekend and I think it is going to be one of my very favorites. Her glasses came in on Monday, but I haven't had a chance to take a picture of her in them yet. Maybe this evening.....In the meantime, enjoy our new photo of "T".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


Suddenly--I feel like Dane has really turned a corner in the "Age & Maturity Department." Junior High has been a big jump (bigger than I had expected) and he is really rising to meet the occasion. I am proud of him!! He has really worked hard in football, continues to pull excellent grades, and helps out around home without whining whenever he is asked. His developing sense of humor is a riot.

Around home, we have always called him "Dane-O". I'm not sure where it came from, but it started when he was very small. Sometimes its even "Dane-O Morano." Don't know where that came from either. I don't really notice when we call him that, but I know that we must still do it, because both girls sometimes call him "Dane-O" and they had to have picked it up from us. In any case, Dane now has a new nickname that I'm getting a real kick out of. And Dane seems to like it!!! It represents what he is and wants to be on the football field--"Dane-gerous". His coach has tagged him with this name and has even told him he should get it tatooed on his arm. I think we'll wait on the tattoo, but I like it!! He came home on a gameday a few weeks ago with it written in BIG silver letters on his forearm. He said that one of his friends had written it on his arm for him. :)

The two attached pictures are two of my very favorites of Dane. The first one was taken right at age two, and shows the mischievous grin that he still has. The second one shows him now, in a more serious moment.

Dane--I'm very proud of you. For the little boy you were, the teenager you are now, and the man you will be in the future. Love, Mom

New Photo of the girls

Mike took this photo of the girls on Sunday. They had climbed into a laundry basket together and he was quick and grabbed the camera. I really like it!!

Just for Susan

My older sister, Susan, HATES spiders! With a passion!! In fact, we have several family jokes surrounding her phobia. Tent checks with flashlights, shaking the mail off outside of the car before it enters the vehicle, watching her do a "crazy-person" dance if she felt a spider web on her......These were all a part of my childhood and growing up with Susan.

Now, being the delightful little sister that I was, I decided at a very young age that I LIKED spiders. I LOVED spiders!! All simply to irritate and annoy my older sister. Heh Heh Heh. I used to catch them and let them crawl all over me, refuse to kill one that might have found his way into my room and then take it a step further by naming him-- and anything else I could think of.

So yesterday, on my 38th birthday no less, I was measuring a house and had to squeeze between the building and a large rhododendron. Needless to say, I ended up wearing the spider web of an autumn sunshine-loving spider like a hat, and proceeded to do the "crazy dance" in the yard of a complete and total stranger. (For those of you that don't understand, the crazy dance comes unheeded with the assumption that you are probably also wearing the spider himself somewhere on your body.) I have to admit that I immediately thought of my sister. After that, I watched where I was walking much closer and took the attached photo of the next hairy beast that I saw. I'm still going to contend that I'm not afraid of spiders. I just didn't much like the unexpected feeling of his web in my hair and all over my face. YUCK!!!

So, dear elder sister, feel free to gloat and laugh at the mere thought of me dancing all over the yard of some stranger frantically grabbing at my hair and face. I admit it.....I've more than earned it for all the times I made fun of you. Love you, Big Sis!!! :) And to my other older sister, Marj, I'm still not sorry for all those times I locked you in the basement......yet. :) I'll blog about that another time...

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Jennica and the Orange Highlighter

Anybody out there remember the "Harold and the Purple Crayon" books? I LOVED those books as a little girl. I don't think I ever had one of my own, but I remember checking them out at the library with my Mom. For those of you that are not familiar with them, the entire book(s) is always about Harold drawing some adventure with his purple crayon. Whatever he draws.....happens.

"Jennica and the Orange Highlighter" does not have the same ring to it, but it fit this weekend. On Saturday, she found one somewhere and had quite an adventure coloring her pants, shirt, socks, face, and hands. She didn't have any regrets whatsover, and the enclosed photo shows her proudly showing off the one little piece of paper that she colored.

Today, she took advantage of Mike and I both being busily involved with Tiersten and Grant, respectively, snuck into the boys' room, and found a black felt-tip pen. She wrote on their walls, closet doors, dresser, door, her hands and face, and a few other things. Luckily, this was not a pemanent marker, but still.......

Now...Let's be honest here. The obvious point to be made is that Jen needs to be more closely watched. I'll agree to that. However, its still frustrating when you think you have all the scissors, pens, etc. above her reach and she STILL manages to find something. Oh well...I guess thats what makes two.....well......age two, huh?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Being thankful

We've had kind of an odd couple of weeks around here. It seems like it has been very busy, but compared to some other weeks lately, its actually been a bit more leisurely. But still, I rather have that tired and rundown feel. I always seem to feel this way when the days begin to get noticeably shorter. I reach a point where I want to mow the lawn one last time before winter, and then curl up in a chair with an afghan and sleep for about four hours. With the sunshine coming through the windows. Aaahhhhhhh. Boy, that sounds nice......

In any case, we're not yet at a point where we can relax. We have a few more weeks left of football, some winterizing to do around the house and outdoors, and then we'll be there. To fight the "blues" today, I'm trying to remind myself of all the things I have to be thankful for. And I really do have LOTS of things. So here goes:
1) We only have a few weeks left of football. Hurray! Then maybe we can have meals together before 7 pm on weeknights. :)
2) All four of the kids are healthy and doing well in school/Day Care. I think I tend to take this one for granted and forget how hard it must be to have a child who struggles with health, behavioral, and/or academic issues.
3) Our house is safe, secure, roomy, and HOME. This winter's project will be painting and putting new flooring in the laundry room, but thats pretty minor compared to having a leaky roof, or....???
4) I work my own hours when I want and how I want. Not always quite as easy as that, but in the end, the decisions are MINE. Really caters to the "control freak" in me.

And last, but certainly not the least,
5) I have a wonderful husband to share this life with, to experience the ups and downs of parenthood with, and to be my best friend. Wouldn't want to do it without him!!!

I have so many other things to be thankful for as well, but these are the big ones on my mind today. What do you have to be thankful for?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Ramblings on school violence

After the occurrence of several school shootings in the past week, I'm finding that I'm bracing myself somewhat when I pull up my internet homepage. I rarely turn on the TV anymore, and have reached a point where 99% of my daily news connection comes through my computer screen. This entire school violence/shooting thing really bothers me...

To state the obvious, I'm sure the fact that I have three children in our local public school system, with one more to be joining them next year, contributes to why this issue literally hits so close to home for me. However, in acknowledging the larger picture, I also feel that we have to recognize that the importance of pursuing an education is so American. The American public school system is something we all tend to take for granted. The fact that our children will have the opportunity to be educated, cared for safely, transported home, etc. while at school is a given. Isn't it?

Violence in our schools MUST be stopped. I appreciate the efforts that our own home district has put in place to provide a more secure environment. Even though I'd enjoy the convenience of taking my pre-schooler in the back door of the school, I understand why it must remain locked and I'm willing to walk a little farther. But what can we do to help our school districts become more secure? We, as parents, need to step up to the plate and make suggestions. I need to acknowledge that, even though I attended the same school as my children a gazillion years ago, I am not exempt from the rules and need to make sure that I ALWAYS sign in as a visitor at the office. (I'm really bad about that one!) We need to help our school staff so that they know, at all times, who they have on school grounds. If we see a stranger in the hallways without a "visitor" badge, maybe we should ask if we can help them find something. If they respond strangely, REPORT them to the office. And don't tell me that we can't make a difference! There is no stronger group than parents and loved ones united for the cause of their children!!! If you don't believe me, face down a mad Mom at the principal's office sometime. :)

I'm going to personally devote myself to helping my school become more secure. Will you join me? And to those who have lost loved ones to school violence in the past days, weeks, months, and years...both the victims and the heart goes out to you. May peace be with you.