Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Everything Has A “First”

There’s a first for everything, and this first definitely was music to my ears, both figuratively and physically.  It was finally time for Britney to perform what she learned during the past year at her first piano recital.


  Although she was a little nervous, Brit performed her duet and solo piano pieces with ease.   


She didn’t miss a beat or skip a note, which is great for this girl who has self-proclaimed stage fright.


Thanks to a great teacher, Brit loves taking piano lessons!


Too bad we have to wait another year for another recital! 


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cameron aka: Macbeth

Studying Shakespeare is part of the 6th Grade curriculum.  You can imagine the surprised look on my face when Cameron came home from school and said he had the lead role as “Macbeth” in one of the plays his class was performing.  I never saw him practice his lines.  But he delivered each and everyone of them with ease and expression!  Maybe Cam has found a new talent! 

Here he is right before the show, preparing for the performance: 


Surely the king didn’t know he would soon be murdered by Macbeth…



I loved watching Cam try something new.  He has a great 6th grade teacher this year that appreciates how his mind thinks and that cares about him a lot!  Good job Cam!


Construction Zone–Before Pictures

I’m not sure what’s worse; finishing a basement or finishing a yard.  Both have the same effects on the entire inside of the home, and that is the layer of dust everywhere!  I usually get after the kids for running outside, then coming in the house and leaving little footprints on the hardwood floors, but today, this is my doing. 

Even though the wind kicked up today, I decided I was going to document the progress of the yard.  Even though I took my shoes off when I came in, this is what was still on my feet.  I only have to deal with it for a few more days!   The yard should be complete by early next week.   


As of today, here’s the progress that’s been made since Monday:

Rock wall and sprinklers in in the front:

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Fire pit, patio and in ground trampoline set.  Garden boxes are also going in today.  The dang deer better not eat our garden!  We still have a pergola going over the back deck for shade (my umbrella will not survive another one of our wind storms) and the play set will go in after the grass is in.  

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The porch will give us a place to enjoy our view of the lake and mountains.  I’m looking forward to sitting here with a good book, watching the kids ride their bikes and play, hoping the bubbling rock feature will drown out all their noise! 



Grandma Adele hadn’t had a surprise party since she was 40.  You could feel the anticipation in the air while the kids anxiously waited behind the front door for her arrival.  The shutters were drawn.  The house was quiet.  The doorbell rang and when we yelled, “Surprise”, Grandma said, “Whose birthday is it?  Oh mine!”  Mission accomplished.  We pulled it off!


Grandma opening her Summer Survival Kit which included a new beach towel, good book to read, sunblock and refillable cup for her Diet Coke all in a new beach bag. 


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Addicted…Part One

Everyone has their vices.  Unfortunately, Justin and I have found ourselves addicted to an expensive habit.  No illegal substances here.  We are addicted to cruising.  Last year, we took the plunge and toured the Western Caribbean and were hooked immediately.  We recently returned from 8 days in the Eastern Caribbean last week.

Whenever Justin and I leave town, I am reminded why I am so tired each and every day running this household.  It took 4 sets of grandparents running tirelessly to replace me.  I spent the entire week last week catching up on getting the cars and house clean, laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping and falling back into our hectic schedule.  We even cut out taekwondo, basketball, dance and choir and I am still running around like crazy!  I completed everything I needed to just to start all over again this week. 

So, in between all the general household chores I thought I would find the time to go through hundreds of cruise pics to share.  I keep thinking, “next week will be calmer than this week”, and when I get to the next week, it fills up like a flooding basement during a hurricane.  In addition to our regular routine, this week has been once again filled to capacity with the unusual happenings of getting our yard landscaped, a school play, a field trip, an IEP, 4 birthday parties, shopping for mother’s day gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, family flying into town, a nephew’s wedding and a piano recital. 

Our adventure started in Florida aboard “The Oasis of the Seas”, the largest cruise ship to date,  just in time for the 3D release of “Titanic”.  Yes, our timing is impeccable.  This ship holds around 6000 passengers and 2200 crew members and there are enough life boats for all of them!


Our balcony was on the upper right deck overlooking “Central Park”.  Yes.  This boat boasts a park, “The Promenade” an onboard mall, and Aqua Theatre, just to name a few unique features.   


The skillful divers actually dove 17 meters off of the top platform into a little, tiny pool at the bottom of the  theatre. 


Rumors had it that the navy carrier (see below) was a protection for our ship while in port at the Bahamas


What goes off the ship must come back on the ship (in theory).  One day our waiter said 20 people were left behind because they did not make it back by departure time.  They had to learn the hard way that the boat does not wait for you!  If you think the lines at Disneyland lines are bad, see what getting 6,000 people back on a boat through security looks like. 


Although the boat was exquisite, one of our favorite parts of the trip was the company.   Justin looked forward to entertaining our new friends each night at dinner and I looked forward to being embarrassed by the stories and jokes he had to tell. 


Formal Night - From left to right: Neil, Catey (from Boston) Me, Justin, Carina, Ricardo (newlyweds from Venezuela) Kimberly and Jorge (from New York). Strangely enough they all thought I was the one with the accent!


Spring Break Part Three

Now that we are back from our cruise, It’s time to catch up.  Here’s a sampling of how we filled the rest of our time during our rainy spring break:

Building Forts – I wasn’t too happy about the packing tape stuck to the wall and shutters, but it was a rainy day and there was nothing to do outside, so I let it slide…just this once!


Putting Together Puzzles – I bought a 3D puzzle and ended up with a headache after helping Brit put it together.  Don’t buy them. 


Baking – still teaching the girls to bake so I don’t have to…

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Making Salsa


Here is the recipe we use for Fresh Tomato Salsa from allrecipes.com that we all love:

Prep Time:  10 Minutes

3 tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup finely diced onion

5 serrano chiles, finely chopped (we use 1 large Anaheim pepper so it’s not so hot)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons lime juice

Combine all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 1 hour.  Enjoy! 

We also had a field trip to Discovery Gateway.  This is always a hit. 




My mom always told me that kids are the easiest between ages 6-12.  Well, here we are, just in that bracket.  No naps,  no diapers, no moody teenagers or toddlers to deal with.  With Summer just 3 weeks away, I am going to take advantage of this “easy” stage and enjoy my kiddos.  I can’t wait!