Tuesday, March 31, 2009

As Promised...

I told you. I told you I would spoil you with scout pictures! Feast your eyes on these.
The cake I picked out at Safeway, when the Costco parking lot was too crazy to even attempt a visit yesterday. Chocolate with buttercream filling and that super sugary frosting. Yum.
A candid shot of Riley, waiting for the festivities to begin. He's so cute. Just look at him!
These guys presented the "Arrow of Light" awards to the Webelos. It's the highest Cub Scout award! These three ran the whole program. See the little bridge behind them, they used that too.
Here's Riley, on the bridge, becoming a Boy Scout. The boys in the Boy Scout troop take his Webelos kerchief off, change the little doodads on his shoulders, shake his hands, and give him a Boy Scout handbook. This troop is known as the "Dragons." They have dragons on their kerchiefs. Cool.

It's official. Riley is a Cub Scout no more. He is a real Boy Scout. He can now attend all Boy Scout functions, and has his first "duty," busing tables at the Elks Lodge, in a couple of weeks. Congratulations, Riley! 

Word of the day: Potty Patrol. Okay, that's two, and this is completely unrelated to scouting, obviously, but it is worth mentioning. Apparently, there is an arsonist on the loose in San Francisco. This person is setting the public toilets on fire. These toilets are kind of new. They have them on the street, free-standing, in a little box kind of thing. You pay to go in them-literally and figuratively. They are quite expensive, and this bozo is burning them down. Anyway, so this group of people got together and had a little protest today. They marched around the city with toilet seats and chanted-here's the best part..."You got to fight. For your right. To po-tty!" You know, like that Beastie Boys song! Hysterical. Only in SF. That's what makes SF such a great place. People will rally together to support a cause, and they are right too. Made me laugh. March on people!

Monday, March 30, 2009

About Those Butterflies

Check out this article I found tonight. See? There really are a lot of butterflies right now! It's beautiful.

Monday, again

It's Monday. It's just been a blah day. I still have a headache-I think it's related to allergies, as they are kicking my butt. I didn't sleep well, and quite honestly, I am grumpy. I even went to bed early last night (11 pm-that's early for me), but I tossed and turned. Oh well, here are some people that brighten even the most blah of days...
I call these pictures "Coming and Going."

Kevin took these a couple of weekends ago. He took the boys to the school to play. I like them-the boys AND the pictures. They are not blah, but rather clever.  Well, hoping my mood improves tomorrow. I should be able to dazzle you with scout pictures (I know, I really spoil you), as Riley bridges from Webelos to Boy Scouts. 

Word for the day: Butterflies. There is some sort of migration of butterflies around here-thanks for the info Sarah! There are butterflies flitting around everywhere. It's really cool, except when you are driving and you run into them. I wanted to slow way down, to avoid hitting them, but I don't think other drivers would have liked that. I wish I could capture them in a picture-they seem to be pretty small, and they don't really sit still. It's truly amazing. You will just have to believe me.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Weekend Down

I can't believe tomorrow is Monday. I am gearing up for a busy week. Good news though, Spring Break is in two weeks. I so need a break. I'm exhausted. No big plans. My mom and I are seeing "Wicked," and I plan to do some shopping in San Francisco, but nothing else.
Despite having 4 boys over last night, I got my doll finished. This is the one I posted about the other day. She was really easy. 

We had another nice day today. Not as warm as yesterday, but close. Quinn (pictured with a pokeball) came back from Grandma and Grandpa's. He spent the night with them so Riley could have the evening with his friends, without his little brother hanging around. Quinn had fun. His cousin, Emily, spent the night too. My brother kept them busy. They saw Monsters vs. Aliens, went on a bike ride to the park, and went to a BBQ. Needless to say, all of us are tired in this house tonight.

Word for the day: Shopping. I got to spend the day with my good friend, Cathy, today. We did some shopping and had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Yummy. It was a very nice day.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sleep over Fun

We are knee deep in boys here (sorry, I am not sharing any of the pictures of them, as I don't have permission to post their faces on the internet). Riley's sleep over is under way. There are 4 boys total, a perfect number for the Wii, and any number of board games. They have had pizza, and we just got back from seeing Monsters vs. Aliens. I really, really liked it. I thought it was quite funny, and I enjoyed the 3D effects, but I know they are not for everyone. 
Currently, they are having cupcakes and then searching out weapons-good news, the only thing we have are dart guns, and noisy guns. Nobody is going to lose an eye on my watch!

I love cupcakes! Kevin made these. Riley requested chocolate cupcakes. Kevin bought butter cream icing, the kind from a can. I don't like it as much as the Fluffy White. I'm wondering when these boys will be tired. I'm tired.

Word of the day: Sun! It was 80 degrees today! Quinn had a baseball game at 1:00 pm, and it was downright HOT! I'm not complaining, just surprised. The weatherman said it would be nice, more like 70. Surprise! It's a taste of summer, and it tastes delicious!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday At Last

It seemed like it would never become Friday, but here we are! 
Obviously Owen feels the release of a stressful week. Did he have a student take 7 minutes to staple 3 pieces of paper together? 

You might be assuming I have changed my blog to a food blog. I haven't. This is for tomorrow night. Riley is celebrating his birthday by having 4 boys over to spend the night. We are going to see Monsters Vs. Aliens, have pizza for dinner, and then hopefully they will all sleep. Ha! I guess I can hope. Maybe I should spike their treats with Benadryl. Stop! I won't do that. Of course I wouldn't do that, well most likely I won't. ;-)

Word for the day: Sad. Today marks the 4th anniversary of my grandmother's death. We had a very close relationship while I was growing up. She lived with us, so I saw her everyday. I miss her terribly. It's also sad because today the city of Oakland, CA had the funeral for the four police officers who were shot last weekend. The coverage of it, on the news, has been so sad. I really can't comprehend what their families must be going through. The service looked like it was very nice, with police officers representing all 50 states, and Canada. Amazing. The processions of police going to and from the service were very impressive. If you know a police officer, hug him or her, and thank them for doing such a difficult job.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Almost Friday!

Ladies and Gentlemen, the President of the United States of America...
Well, hello Mr. President! Would you care to try a Giant Nerd?
Of course I would. I hear they are fantastic! Mmmmm. That's a tasty Nerd! I proclaim today Giant Nerd day! Perhaps Giant Nerds should be a part of my economic stimulus package.

OK, that was just crazy. What can I say, it's a slow night. I do have a project in the works. It's a doll. It's from Martha Stewart's site, but made by Black Apple. I first saw it on my friend Raquel's blog. Hers (two of them) looked really cute, so I decided to make my own. I'll post when she's finished.

Word for the day: Slow. Long day at school-the coughing, sneezing and fetching of tissues is enough to drive me to drink. We have disinfected every square inch of the classroom, in hopes of getting rid of the cooties dwelling there. I'm in the middle of a huge Spring Cleaning in my classroom, which is really slow going. I am going through every drawer, cabinet and shelf and getting rid of crap. After school, long afternoon of homework and cleaning rooms, then we went to dinner at Chevy's and experienced the "Disappearing Waiter Trick." That service was slow. Real slow. I sure hope it speeds up a little so that I can start my weekend. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Peeps for my Peeps!

My girl got a new dress. 
I ordered it from kookanoid on etsy. It goes well with her black and white leggings and cool shoes.

I'm hoping you aren't thinking this is turning into a food blog, specifically junk food. Just wanted to give a shout out for my Peeps though. I may be one of the only people in the world who likes these. Do you like them? Leave a comment and let me know your feelings about Peeps. I especially enjoy the blue ones (I have a passion for blue foods), but look at those orange Peeps! Delicious! I think they go well together too.

Word for the day: Scrapbook. Guess what I did today? Yes, I did go to Target, but after that. I scrapbooked. I got a whole 2 pages done too! I guess it's going to be slow going, at least until I get in my groove.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ikea Loot

I went to Ikea last Friday, on my day off. I had a gift card, from my birthday, thanks to my sister in law and her family. I got Riley some bins to put his Legos in (we are brimming with Legos in this house-hey, I have 2 boys, 2 of them!)
See what else I got? The big pink bag, with blue handles, is perfect for my shopping trips-I don't use plastic anymore. See that small pink bag? A couple of Ikea trips back, I got blue and green bags for the boys. They were out of pink at that time, but NOT THIS TIME! Lucky me! Yay! I also got a very fragrant candle-almost too fragrant. It may need to find a new home, in the bathroom, as it makes me sneeze-everything makes me sneeze these days. Must see doctor. Anyway, I digress. I also got some little white vases, because they are so cute. The best thing of all though? Those crocheted flowers! Look at them!

Just look! Aren't they cute? They come in a package of five, for $2.99! $2.99 I tell you! Run to Ikea and get some! They even come with matching string to attach them. I'm not sure what I will attach them to yet, but they are pretty darn cute. They would be cute on a pillow, or on a blanket, or for use in a craft. I don't know. Martha Stewart would know immediately, but since I am not her, and she is not here, you will have to wait until I figure it out.  You know I will share that information with you!

Word for the day: Cough! Almost all of my students are coughing up lungs (except for Neil, Sheri-thanks for that-hope it lasts!). It is so distracting. It's noisy, and they don't always cover their mouths. My throat feels scratchy just thinking about it. We have to clean every surface. I can't wait until this cold and flu season ends. Yuck. Lucky for me, my immune system is pretty good, so I don't always catch their colds. I wash my hands a lot.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baseball in Full Swing, Again!

We were at our second home tonight, the baseball field. It was darn cold-don't let that sunshine fool you. The wind was blowing, and it was all COLD air!
Quinn at bat. Look at that form! He's barely larger than the tee!
He made it to first base, where as you can tell, he's a very serious, focused player.
He holds the same respect for fielding. Unyielding focus and commitment to his outfield duty.

This picture was an accident. Kevin took it trying to undo something he did to my camera. There were others too-of my feet (I did have my cute red clogs on though), the grass, and the bench. I liked this one though. It's pretty cool. Do you like Quinn's bat bag? I've just been to lazy to get him a proper one, so he's using one of my good Target bags. Hey, it matches his team color! Do you see the size? It's a 13oz. bat!

Word for the day: Visiting. We met my friend Valerie (her blog link is over there, on the right, vmjess) and her boys at Chuck E. Cheese. She is spending Spring Break here, visiting her family. She used to live here, but now lives out of state. It was good to see her, catch up, and also visit with some other friends who were there as well. We all had a good time. Chuck E. Cheese was almost enjoyable-it wasn't swarming with people! Nice.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Why Can't I Just Sit Down and Scrapbook?

I really do not know why it never works out for me to scrapbook. I got it all out this morning. Ready to work on 2004 (yes, I am really that far behind). Opened up the pictures (hundreds of them) I ordered from Apple and then discovered that none of them were in any sort of order. Well, poop.
See? Here's my 2003/2004 album, ready to move on. My kids don't look like this any longer!

Here are some of my piles of pictures. I started with 8 stacks, sorted out Disneyland, and another trip. Got down to 6 piles. I kept sorting until they were all in place. I then had to go back and make myself a cheat sheet for the dates. They are ready to scrapbook now! Alas, it's too late, Kevin is podcasting in the office, so I am thrown out. Oh well, Amazing Race is on now anyway.

Word for the day: Windy. The wind woke me up at 5:22 am. It was raining pretty hard and so windy I thought the house would blow over, or Dorothy would arrive! I was able to go back to sleep, but rudely awakened, to the arguing of my boys, around 8:30 am. Why can't I just sleep when I want to either? Next weekend won't be any good for sleeping either. We are expecting at least 4 boys for a sleepover, for Riley's birthday. Am I nuts?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Here's Another One

I made another bag. This one is for my BFF Kristi.
I like the black and white color scheme. I'm thinking I'll make one for me too.

I used ribbon with a little bit of red in it. I like the contrast. I also made this bag bigger than the pattern called for. She liked it.

Word for the day: Tired. I didn't sleep all that well. I didn't set the alarm either, and so I think I was nervous that I would oversleep, and then Quinn would be late for his 11 am game. I finally got up at 8:30 am. The phone rang at 9 letting me know that the game was changed to 1 pm. Poop. Oh well. Kevin and I still got to see our movie and had dinner. We saw "I Love You, Man" (without our children-NOT appropriate) and dined at P.F. Changs. It was a pleasant afternoon-well except for the 3 year old that some dumbasses brought to the theater, and then let run all around, screaming. I hope he went home with a whole new set of vocabulary words. It would serve his idiot parents right. Where was the Supernanny when I needed her?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Julie's Day Off

Anyone know what I did today? Anyone? Anyone? I took the day off-just like Ferris Bueller! I did things that I like to do. Nice.
I started off at Valley Fair Mall. I leisurely strolled through Nordstrom, before I entered the mall. Hit the brakes here-screeeeeech.  I realized a little too late that the damn shops didn't open until 11:00 am. It was 10:25 am. Stupid economy. That's ok, because I walked on down to Macy's. That's where I spied that "lovely" up there. I was very tempted, but figured it was not a good outfit for yard duty. You will be happy to know that they also had it in blue, but that picture blurred. Poop. Good news though, Macy's had A LOT of them left, so you can all run up there and get one. I just don't see why they are not selling. ;-)
I got a new skin for my iPhone. Isn't it cute? I just love monkeys, and this is Paul Frank's Julius.
I walked across the street to Santana Row, to visit the Anthropologie there. Isn't that window pretty?

I also headed over to Ikea. I needed some containers with lids for Legos. I think those are hippos in the picture. I don't know. I liked their colors.

Word for the day: Enjoyable. It was nice to have a day to myself. I didn't have to run around all day, organizing stuff, redirecting children, correcting, redirecting students, winding up the week, prepping for next week, etc. My only responsibility today was to pick the boys up from school, and take Quinn to baseball practice. That would have been easy if the coach had not decided that the moms needed to help the T-ballers field, at said baseball practice. Do you know how hard it is for one to tell a small kid where they are supposed to throw for the out? Harder than you think! First you have to get them to get up off the ground (you know, from rolling around), then you have to get them to understand their NAME when you call them 20 times, to get their attention, then you have to remind the runner to run while the first baseman chases the ball, along with his backup. All the while, the coach is calling out directions. Let's just say I am dropping him off at practice next time. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

More signs of Spring!

You may think I'm obsessing, but I really am excited about Spring. You know why? It is one season closer to Summer! I personally love Summer.
This is my Wisteria-at least that's what I assume it is. As I told you, I am not that familiar with plants. I try. It is just starting to bloom. This is the biggest bloom. I'll take a picture when the plant/tree/bush/vine gets really big-it fills our trellis, and then dies a horrible, ugly death. It is already really fragrant-made me sneeze. That's the only drawback to Spring-allergies. Right now, they are kicking my butt.
This is some little Japanese maple kind of bush. I thought it was dead. Apparently, it was sleeping. I'm glad, because I like this one. It's by my front door, so I get to look at it every day.
I really have no idea what this one's called. I should, I have it here, in the backyard, and also in the front yard. I have a thing for purple flowers. Anybody know what this is called? Anyone? Anyone?
New shoes on green grass. Yes, Michelle, these are my pity shoes from the Saturday I gave up for math. They are Keens and very comfortable.

So while Spring is in full bloom outside, this poor guy is inside, doing homework.

Word for the day: Surprise! My class and I gave our student teacher a surprise baby shower today. And, I do mean surprise! Can you believe that 19 children kept a secret since Monday? I was very proud of them. We played the game where you can't say "baby." Hysterical. I also gave them a ball of clay and had them create babies-notice I didn't say "make babies." Erica got some nice things. I love the kids in my class, and their awesome parents-especially you, Sheri! They really are a supportive group.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Could it be Spring?

Can you see?

Do you see those white topped trees? I think they are white cherry blossoms, but they might not be. I don't know much about plants/trees. All I know is they are beautiful. This is the Safeway parking lot in Newark. The trees go on for days. I took this picture quickly because I was getting really strange looks. I may go back to the other end of the lot for another picture, because they really are quite a sight. They make me smile, even if they make me sneeze.

Word for the day: Think. I have this calendar on my desk at school. It's one of those calendars in which you rip off a page each day. It's all about being a teacher. I got it for Christmas from a little girl in my class. The kids love me to rip off the page and read it to them. Some days it's fine, usually a quote or a teaching tip. Other days, it's not appropriate to read aloud-here's an s
example: "What Teacher Says: Whenever I need help in class, I can always count on James to volunteer. He genuinely enjoys it. What Teacher Means: If the little punk doesn't stop sucking up to me, I'm going to throw a stapler at him." See why I can't share a page like that with the kids? It's funny though. Mean, but funny. It just is. Well, today I ripped off many pages-we hadn't gotten to it for awhile. While reading them, I came across the one for Feb.2. It made me think. "To see things in the seed, that is genius." It's a quote by Lao-Tzu. That sums up teaching for me. I may feel frustrated like the first page I shared, but in the end, I went into teaching to reach and teach the "seeds." Soon enough, my hard work will bloom, just like Spring. It's very rewarding.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cat Cuteness

Look at these...
Owen. He's almost 1 year old. Isn't he cute? He's a little stinker too.
Oh, look at that face, and you have to love the little paw.
Apparently, I am boring him. 
Let's not forget Matilda. I'm amazed I captured her with her mouth closed. She's such a talkative cat, her mouth is always moving. Doesn't she look complete bored with me as well?

These two jumped into my cart at Target the other day. They came with jelly beans. Who cares about jelly beans? They were the REGULAR kind, not the Giant Nerd variety. These two are cute though. Owen thinks so too.

Word for the day: Improvise. I was teaching a lesson today on paragraph writing. We are writing paragraphs about our favorite food. I did a sample web for them. The middle is where you put your favorite food, and then there are five bubbles off of that, one for each sense. Can you figure out what my favorite food was? Give up? Giant Nerds (of course)! Well, I just so happened to have a bag. One of my students brought a bag in for me. Turns out my student begged her mother to get the nerds so she could try them (I talk about Nerds almost as much as I talk about Target). She didn't like them, so her mom had her bring me the rest of them. As I was filling out my web as an example, it occurred to me that I could make a much bigger impression if I gave each student one-for scientific purposes. This was huge for me as I don't do ANY food in my classroom. I sacrificed today, gave them each one Nerd, and then science began!  We filled in the rest of the bubbles for each of the five senses-and they used very descriptive words too. For example, "fruity" for taste, "bumpy" for feeling, "crunchy" for sound, etc. It worked really well, and then my principal walked in the door. LMAO! That happens to me all the time! I was once showing a movie (it went with our reading unit) when my principal came in with a school board member! Good thing for me, my principal is very easy-going. 

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Hiking We Went!

Yesterday, we went on a hike with the scouts. We hiked Coyote Hills, in search of geocaches. My father in law led the hike, mapping out locations for four caches. He brought his GPS devices and taught the kids to use them. They loved looking for the "treasure."
Here are the boys looking for the first cache. They found it. I won't tell you where, in case you are in the area and want to do some geocaching.
It's just too bad that the views from Coyote Hills SUCK! (Not!-remember that? Not? It was all the rage!) On this side of the giant "hill" we climbed, is the city of Fremont-all the way to those hills way over there. There's one tiny city in the middle of Fremont, but otherwise, this is all Fremont. The pointy peak up there, to the left, is Mission Peak. People can hike all the way to the top. I hear the view is spectacular. I wouldn't know. I've never done that hike. Attempted once with Kevin, when we were young, but we only made it halfway.
Here's the other side of the big "hill." That's the San Francisco Bay. To the right, across the water, is the city of San Francisco. It was not real clear. We could see the city, but it didn't show up well in these pictures. If I had taken my big camera, I could have gotten it. Alas, I just had my point and shoot camera.
One of the caches. It had pencils, erasers and stuff inside. The idea of doing geocaches is that you locate the cache, using coordinates on a map or GPS device. Inside the cache there's usually some kind of log to write in, and if you choose to take the treasure inside, you are supposed to leave a treasure in its place. It's pretty cool. My father in law was saying that the first one we found dated back 5 years!

When in doubt, grab Quinn for a picture. He's always willing.

Word for the day: Baseball. Quinn had a game tonight. His baseball skills are really improving! The whole team is doing well. If you are ever having a rotten day, go to a T-ball game. Guaranteed to make you smile.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Happy Birthday, Riley!

It's Riley's birthday today! He turned 11. Wow. He's half of 22-and I am thinking of that, WHY?
Here he is this morning, with his presents from his brother, Kevin and I-he couldn't wait to open them.
His brother gave him a Star Wars book and a new Pirates of the Caribbean chapter book. We gave him Cool Stuff Exploded, a book he wanted, and a history book. He loves history, and learning about weird things.
Oh, and this...an Indiana Jones Lego set. He is wild about Legos and Indiana Jones, so this is the best of both worlds for him. 

Make a wish! It's strange how images can stay in your mind. I remember Riley's entire birth. I remember taking him home from the hospital, wondering where we should put him, and what we should do next. He was such an easy baby. He slept a lot. It was easy to put him on a schedule, because I always had to wake him up to feed him. I got my whole house stenciled and painted while he was a tiny baby. He was a great shopper too! I couldn't stand to just stay in the house, so if we weren't out walking, or at "playgroup," we were at the malls. 

Now, he's developing into a young man. There's so much I love about this child. He is such a sweet, caring, sensitive boy. He used to get mad at us, while watching America's Funniest Home Videos, when we laughed at people falling down. To him, it was NOT funny! He's a quiet kind of boy, with a really big heart. I love that he can read 20 books all at the same time, leaving them open all over the house. I love that he loves his Legos, and has not outgrown the art of playing. I love how his mind works-he's quite a thinker, and very literal. I love that he's good at math, because I am not. I love that he is unwavering and loyal to his friends (and even to those who have bullied him.) He is very responsible. I am proud to be his mom, even if he refers to me as "um," because I think, he thinks he'll hurt my feelings if he calls me "mom" and not "mommy." 

Word for the day: Hike. We did some geocaching with the scouts today, at Coyote Hills. My father in law does a lot of geocaching, so Kevin commissioned him to lead this hike for the scouts. It was lots of fun. I think the boys were all intrigued with the idea of hidden treasures. They were able to use the GPS to find the coordinates of the hidden treasures. A good day was had by all.