Friday, October 30, 2009

How I Spent My Birthday

My birthday was yesterday and I had a great day. Steven took the day off from work and we took the kids to school together and then we went out to breakfast! That was pretty fun - going out to breakfast while both our girls were in school. LOL. And then he needed to get some things from the church office and we spent some time there, thank goodness he has an iPhone, I spent the time on the internet. And then it was home to shower and get ready to go back to the school for the girls.

The girls have been on minimum days all week due to parent/teacher conferences and it worked out perfectly for picking up the girls from school and then heading to Disneyland. I spent the remainder of my birthday at The Happiest Place on Earth.

This years Disney promotion is that you get in free to Disneyland on your birthday. If you're an annual passholder, you have a couple different options. One option is a 'Fun Card'. You basically get a gift card with the amount of what a ticket would cost, and in my case, an adult ticket is $72. So I got a Fun Card with $72 on it to spend anyway I want! With the exception of food.The day was starting off great - we pulled into the parking structure with minimal lines, walked right on to a tram!!!, walked through security, and walked right through the entrance turnstiles! What a great way to start our day!

It's not often that Steven gets to go to Disneyland on a weekday, usually only when he takes off specifically when out of town family is in town and are going (like he'll be doing in another week), but overall the crowds were great and ride wait times weren't bad either. Would have made the day if our children rode the 'good' rides! In years past, this time of year, tucked way in the back of the park, is Thunder Mountain Ranch, and normally it would be a place where picnic tables are set up and Halloween coloring sheets are available all the while a stage show is going on. But this last spring, they turned that area into a family style restaurant area and I thought for sure there'd be no more sitting and relaxing and enjoying the fall decor, but I was wrong, they scaled it back and moved it over just a bit. I was happy to see it! And we sat for a spell while the girls colored.We made out way at some point over to Tomorrowland and went inside Innoventions. IN the last year, they installed a "Smart House" whereas every one has a control panel and is totally ran by a computer - it's so cool! Steven hadn't seen this yet and the girls loved showing him all around, although it was disappointing that some of the control panels weren't working.
Standing at the kitchen island in the Smart House.

For dinner, we ate at the Big Thunder Mountain Ranch Celebration Roundup. It was on the expensive side, but hey, it was my birthday afterall! The food was GREAT and was served family style - BBQ ribs, chicken, and sausage, with sides of ranch beans, corn, coleslaw, and cornbread. It was all you can eat and it was YUMMY! There was a stage show going on during dinner and our little 'not shy always wants to be a part of a show' daughter got up and ran to the stage when helpers were beckoned out of the audience. It was a great meal with great entertainment!We took a ride on the Mark Twain Steamboat as it was operating past dusk. That's always fun and different. And then we sent and scoped out a place to catch the Halloween Fireworks. They come to an end this weekend and while me and the girls have seen them, Steven hasn't. They are good fireworks and the girls enjoyed the show a lot more this time around then the last. It was a great birthday! And now I can't wait to go back and spend my Fun Card. It's funny, I've had my eye on different things for the last year, and now that I have the money, I'm not sure what'll I'll buy!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Look What I Got for my Birthday...

...it's a paper iPhone!! My clever husband put this together.

In July 2008, when we stood in line for four hours to get Steven an iPhone, he offered to buy me one. But I declined for two reasons, first, I was trying to be a good servant and avoid the high monthly service fee and second, I could not get a hang of the touch keypad. So I did not get one that day. And ever since about 2 months later, I've regretted that decision. I love Steven's iPhone. I can now type on the keypad faster than you would imagine and I can't wait to have one of my very own.

But you see, there's that little issue called a 'contract' that has prohibited me from getting one thus far. And believe me I've tried every way to get around it in order to upgrade sooner and the answer from AT&T is always "No". My contract is not up until March, but for some reason, Steven's is up in December, December 12th to be exact. But no one is counting the days around here or anything, nope, no one.

So this morning when I was opening up my birthday present from Steven and the girls, I got this iPhone with a note attached to it that I only have 45 more days until I can get my real phone! LOL. I loved it so much, I had to take a picture!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Crib

It was this time ten years ago that we started crib shopping. We searched and searched until we found just the perfect one, that we both liked. It was an expensive crib, as most cribs are. But I had just been given $200 from one of the doctors I worked for as a going away present and I used that money towards the crib.The crib has been in storage in various areas of the house - in the trundle of Hannah's bed, behind Rachel's bedroom door, in Rachel's closet - for the last 3 years. We know we're done having children, so the time had come this last Spring to start searching for a new home for it.
Hannah, sitting in the crib, 3 months old.

I tried several times to sell the crib, after all, it's in excellent condition, and we paid a lot for it. However, none of the times I tried to sell it worked out. On Saturday morning, on a friends Facebook Status, she put out a request that she was looking for a crib, a dresser, and miscellaneous other things needed to put together for a nursery. A nursery her and her husband were putting together for the Foster Babies they will soon be welcoming into their home.
Rachel, 9 months old.

And that was it. I knew I could give my crib to my dear friend who was opening her home and heart to care and love babies who for some reason have a rough start with their own families. I didn't want to just give my crib to the Goodwill, nor give it away to people who wouldn't really take care of it, but giving the crib to my friend for her foster baby nursery, that I could do.

So within just a few hours of having emailed her, telling her our desire to give her and her husband our crib, I was dragging it out from various places, and she was here picking it up and we were loading it into her van.I was so excited and knew that this was the very reason those times I tried to sell the crib didn't work out, the Lord knew of the upcoming need for a crib for our friends nursery and our crib would be the one to furnish it!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Fiesta Cake

My Saturday has been a busy one. We just got home from a 50th birthday party for a friend from church. I was asked to make the birthday cake! The birthday theme was a Mexican Fiesta, so I made a fiesta cake.The cake was a Devil's Food Chocolate cake with a chocolate chip/buttercream filling with a buttercream frosting. Everyone loved the cake - the taste as well as the decoration.

I was honored to be able to make a cake for the birthday girl and to help out the sister who was giving the party.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Step Away From The Technology...For Just a Minute

It's no secret, we are definitely living in the age of progressing technology. The era of cell phones that can take pictures, videos, text, and access the internet are all the rage. I know I'm counting down the days til my contract is up and I can finally obtain my iPhone. But there is a time and a place to use that stuff.

I've been in two different functions in the last week whereas a cell phone was being used at inappropriate time. At the first event, it was a seminar at church. There were only about 15 people in the small intimate setting of our fellowship hall, and the person beside me (and no it wasn't Steven!) was texting during the lecture and closing prayer! Seriously, couldn't what they were exchanging have waited just a while longer? It was afterall only an hour lecture.

The second mishap was during a recent prayer meeting. Seriously? Looking at your texts while people are praying?? Unless it was a text from the Lord above, pretty sure those texts could have waited.

There's a thought, maybe the Lord should take up Texting. Maybe people would better attention to what He has to say.

Yes, we're in the age of progressing technology, but sadly, I think we're in the age of regressing socially. Rarely do people send snail mail (course with the price of a stamp, who can blame them). Rarely do people call. And even when there is face to face conversations being had, they are becoming interrupted by the use of a cell phone.

Anyways, every where you go now, people are on their phones - driving (it's actually against the law here in California, but everyone still does it), in stores, and in social situations. Which bugs me in the absolute worst way. If you're in a social situation, put your phone away. Don't bring it out to text, to check Facebook, or check your email. It's rude and inconsiderate.

I just think people need to step back and take a break sometimes.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Traditions: Dinner as a Family

In this day and age it's very rare that you hear of families sitting down to dinner together. Personally, in my opinion, I think it's contributing to the breakdown of the family.

Dinner as a family allows you to come together and talk about each others' day. Hear the going ons of your children's school day, even if you already heard them in the car on the way home from school. It keeps you connected with your kids day, and with your spouse's day. It keeps you connected to one another.

We ALWAYS ate dinner as a family growing up. We never sat in the living room in front of the TV while eating dinner. And that's the same for us now. We eat at the kitchen table for dinner every night of the week. There are those rare occasions that we order pizza or something easy is made and we eat at the coffee table, while watching a movie.

I know there are special circumstances to not sitting down as a family for dinner every night. There are spouses who commute long distances, have late work nights, etc. But there has to be a few days in the week that a family can have dinner together.

With Steven working at home, I know how his day goes. He's able to share with me how a conference call meeting went or his frustrations of a co-worker, of a project, etc. And I'm able to do the same with frustrations I may face through the day. But we both know how each others day went. But with both girls in school now, it's really funny to watch at dinner the way they both compete to talk about their school day.

As crazy and loud our dinner time can be, I'm very happy that's Steven's working from home not only allows us to eat dinner every night as a family, but also breakfast!!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Be Like a Sunflower

"Keep your face to the sunshine
and you cannot see the shadow.
It's what sunflowers do."

~ Helen Keller

Friday, October 16, 2009

An Old Fashioned Harvest Party

This evening, we participated in a good old fashioned Harvest Party. A family in our church came up with the idea and opened their home, and then there were seven moms who each manned a table with an activity or craft and then gave a treat or prize at the competition of our activity.

I chose to carve out a pumpkin and put a tea light inside it and the kids had to squirt out the tea light with a water bottle! I carved out a Mickey Mouse head, rather than go with a Jack-o-lantern face. And my prize was a candy corn sugar cookie that I made and decorated and wrapped up individually! My table was a huge hit and the kids, and some adults, kept coming back to play again and again. Because it was a Harvest Party, dressing up as friendly scarecrows was encouraged and everyone did a great job at dressing up!! There was a table for having your face painted like a scarecrow. And now that I think about it, I think myself and Anna were the only adults to get our face painted. We were cute, or at least we thought so! Some of the other tables included wrapping up an apple in carmel and then adding your own candy embellishments. A table for root bear floats and purple cows (vanilla ice cream with grape soda). Fabric pumpkin making, scarecrow lollypop making, a table for coloring your treat bag, a table to color a booklet on the Parable of the Pumpkin. There were hot dogs and hot apple cider and lots and lots of scarecrows sitting around the yard as well as pumpkins. There were no ghosts, witches, or other evil things of this season, it was all fun and in good taste.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Anniversary of Staying Home

Before I was a stay at home wife and mother, I worked as a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) in some doctors offices of a nearby prestigious medical center. I worked in a specialist clinic Monday through Friday, with weekends and holidays off. It was my first job out of nursing school. And I loved it.

This week marks ten years since I quit working as a nurse. It's hard to believe it's been that long. There are times when I do miss working as a nurse, the patients I had, and the doctors I worked for.

Before we were married, Steven and I discussed our desires for me to stay home with our children, if and when the Lord chose to bless us with some. I became pregnant with Hannah in July 1999 and the plan was to work through most of my pregnancy and then quit towards the end. But my morning sickness was bad, and the stress of being one nurse to four doctors made my morning sickness even worse. So on October 1, I broke the news to my doctors and then turned in my two week notice to my nursing supervisor.

I quit when I was just three months pregnant and haven't worked as a nurse since then.

I had six months of being home before Hannah came along. It was wonderful.

I am extremely grateful for Steven's job and his earnings that allow me to continue to be a stay at home wife and mother. Especially through these times of economic distress when I see so many stay at home moms having to go back to work, or seek other ways of bringing money in to help supplement the husbands income. I'm grateful to be available to go on field trips with my girls, to work in their classrooms, to be the one to pick them up at the end of their school day. And I'm thankful for my husband whose desire is for me to be home with our children.

So "Happy Staying at Home Anniversary to Me!". I wouldn't change the last ten years for anything!!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Disney Announces Alaskan Cruises!

It's a vacation dream of mine to someday go on a Disney Cruise. It's also a dream of both mine and Steven's to someday take a cruise to Alaska.

Well, a couple of weeks ago, the Disney Cruise Line announced their itinerary for 2011. They will be repositioning one of their East Coast ships on the West Coast for the year doing cruises to the Mexican Riviera and to ALASKA!!! That right there would be a dream vacation - a Disney Cruise to Alaska!!!

2011 happens to be the year of our 15th wedding anniversary!! How awesome would it be to try and make this work out?!?! It's an anniversary trip I'd most definitely take the girls with us. We'd all have a blast.

Time to start thinking of how to make this happen... Donations gladly accepted. LOL.

Monday, October 5, 2009

An Afternoon in Oak Glen

Nestled back in the local mountains is a small apple community called Oak Glen. There are several ranches and unique shops to stroll through and many places to stop for a spell and grab a slice of apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider. To view the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, the crispness of the air, the smell of baking apples. It's apple season and I love going to Oak Glen this time of year, my family, not so much. LOL. The perfect opportunity arose yesterday following church. In a matter of minutes, it was four friends going to Oak Glen for the afternoon, minus the kids and the husbands. We wasted no time in hopping in my van and heading for the hills, literally!We made several stops in the little community. One stop was Snow Line, where Huell Howser once featured their cider donuts. After obtaining a parking spot, and making our way to the barn, we were greeted with this extremely long line. Knowing it was for donuts, we got in the line, and then one of us went to the front of the line to discover the people had been waiting in line for an hour and fifteen minutes. We quickly got out of line as no donut is possibly worth waiting in line for, much less an hour and fifteen minutes!!We continued our journey on to another ranch where we each had some apple pie and apple crisp along with coffee and hot cider. Enjoying the crisp, really cool (borderline cold) air, and the great uninterrupted conversations. We made our way through some of the shops, browsing, smelling candles, and determining our moods with mood rings! LOL. We spent a few hours in Oak Glen, even ran into some of our church family up there! We finished off our afternoon with dinner at Applebees with more uninterrupted conversation.

The afternoon was great. It was so relaxing. It was nice to be in the fresh air, the coolness of the afternoon. And it was nice to be with three of my very special sisters in the Lord. We had a great, great time and are appreciative to our husbands for holding down the fort while we got away for the afternoon.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

The Pending Flu Season

It's October, and that means we are heading into the 'cold and flu' season. The CDC and local hospitals are preparing for this flu season to be a bit of a challenge with the Swine Flu.

I know last Spring there was a huge uproar when the Swine Flu was first diagnosed, almost to the point of panic. But it is pretty serious.

A letter from the school principal came home a week ago, and one came home a couple days ago from the County Department of Health. Both talking of the Swine Flu.

First, they both talked about how to minimize the spread of the Flu:

*cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze
* wash your hands with soap and water often. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are also effective.
* avoid close contact with sick people
* avoid touching your nose, mouth, or eyes. Germs spread that way.
* if you get sick, STAY HOME FROM SCHOOL OR WORK and limit contact with others to keep from spreading the infection
(which means STAY HOME from the grocery stores, shopping, etc, etc)


The spreading of the Swine Flu, or any other illness can be minimized and avoided if people who were sick would just stay home. Don't go to work and expose your co-workers, don't send your kids to school and expose their teachers and classmates, don't go out shopping, don't go to church! Stay home and keep your germs to yourself!

And here are the signs and symptoms:
* fever, greater than 100
* cough
*sore throat
*body aches
*headache
*vomiting
*diarrhea

For more information on the Swine Flu, you can visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov/swineflu.

Friday, October 2, 2009

School Answering Machine

Listen to this school answering machine. It's hilarious. And sadly, so very true.