Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Little Bit of Inspiration

"We too often get bogged down in the thick of thin things."

"Mediocrity is not in fashion. Excellence is the order of the day."
~Thomas S. Monson

"I know I'm somebody 'cuz God don't make no junk!"

"Try to forget yourself in the service of others. For when we think too much of ourselves and our own interests, we easily become despondent. But when we work for others, our efforts return to bless us."

Our Greatest Fear
—Marianne Williamson

It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won't feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Grab A Purple Hat!

A Woman's Lifeline
Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a Queen

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an "ugly duckling" ("Mom I can't go to school looking like this today!")

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix it so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too think, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but says, "At least I am clean", and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am what I am" and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: she looks at herslef and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see
themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out and conquers the world.

Age 70: She looks at herslef and see wisdom, laughter, and ability and goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look, just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the worldl

Moral: Maybe we should all grab that purple hat a little earlier!

Taken from the book "Daughters of God" M. Russell Ballard

Tasty Starfish

Latest trip to the tidepools. Didn't find as much as we usually do, but were happy to at least come across a few tasty morsels.


Posted by Picasa

Of Rohan and Apple Cherry Pie

This past weekend we enjoyed a delightful visit from Toshi, who had a short break from school before his next semester begins. We decided (we being Enoch, Toshi, Curtis, myself, and the kids), after much heated discussion on the relative merits of going rafting and snorkling in the ocean (the raft only had a tiny hole--I was all for it, but was outvoted), to go check out the town of Julian, which is about an hour and a half away from us. Julian is famous in these parts for their apple pies and beautiful scenery. The countryside up there was indeed beautiful! Lots of trees and greenery, a quaint town, and yes, delicious apple pie, which Curtis was kind enough to treat us to--we all grabbed a fork and just dug in--much more efficient the bothering with plates, and slicing and whatnot. After our DELICIOUS apple cherry pie (did I mention it had cherries in it? Well it did.), we drove to the library where we got the insider scoop on good hiking trails. And was the one we tried ever good. Easy hike over gently rolling hills...trees and the occasional boulder surrounding us on all sides, and even a picturesque little stream off to the side. Enoch said it reminded him of Rohan from Lord of the Rings. We only had a moment or two of angst when we had to traverse through a herd of cattle, which included a bull standing off to the side nonchalantly munching on the grass while pretending not to notice us. I could see his eyeballs following us and sizing us up though, trying to determine if we were worth the amusement he could offer his herd by chasing us down. He must have decided we looked like more bother then we were worth, because we made it through the herd safely and on our merry way.

Anyway, it was a lovely little hike, and I can't wait to go back. I hope to someday live in a place like that! What a dream.




Posted by Picasa

Of Beauty All Around

California is beautiful in the spring. My kids are beautiful, too! How I love my little sweethearts! They truly bring so much joy to our family.




Posted by Picasa

Of Egg Decorating

Here are some photos of our Easter Egg decorating party.

Such emotion...

Such intensity...

Such creativity...

Such delightfulness and beauty!
Posted by Picasa

Of Easter Delights

Easter this year was delightful. We started it off last Saturday by coloring eggs (thanks again to Kayla for heading that up) followed by a wonderful potluck and Easter egg hunt at Ben and Kayla's new house with some other family friends. As an aside, I also got to meet B. and K.'s neighbor, who filled us in on all the local neighborhood gossip. He assured Ben that he was well educated and therefore an accommodating and communicative neighbor. (He is one of two or three people in the country to have a graduate degree in casino gaming.) He seemed like a right decent chap. He also informed us that he grows his own pot--purely for medicinal purposes of course--some occasional neurological issues, I believe he said. He should be a fun fellow to get to know!

Posted by Picasa

Back to Easter. Friday for our school snack, the kids and I made the little pastry balls pictured below. A sweet neighbor friend gave me the idea. The crust is actually refrigerated crescent roll dough with a large marshmallow wrapped up inside and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on the top. As it is cooking, the marshmallow completely melts, leaving the inside of the pastry hollow. Can you see where this is going? Yeah, the crust represents the tomb, the cinnamon represents the spices and ointments used to annoint Christ's body after he died, and the disintigrated marshmallow represents, of course, the ressurected Lord--no longer in the tomb. Anyway, it was a quick, easy, and yummy activity--just the kind we like here at our house! This same dear neighbor (who is also LDS) also gave us some little Christ/tomb cutouts, where the kids could color the stuff, and then cut out a rock, put a brad in it and affix it to the tomb, and then roll the rock back and forth. (Did that make any sense at all?) We had them color that on Sunday while Curtis read the resurrection story from the Bible.


And finally, my favorite part of the secular aspect of Easter--hiding the baskets! Not to brag, but my skills in hiding Easter baskets are unparalleled--ask any of my relatives who have been to my house over Easter! I will admit, it helps that our Easter baskets are rather small--we have a tradition in our family that we make little "nests" out of rice crispie treats, complete with green tinted coconut "grass." (I also like them because they don't fit a lot of candy inside! Don't tell my kids! Or husband!)

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot to mention my fruit bouquet. In my attempt to create more healthy traditions for the holidays, I thought it would be clever to make one of these cool edible bouquets one sees advertised around holidays. How hard could it be, anyway? Just a few pieces of fruit on skewers. Well, let me tell you, this is one tradition that will not be repeated. Not if I want to survive with my hands intact. As it was, I got punctured by those darn skewers multiple times. So did Toshi, who was assisting me. I can see why the companies that make these things charge $80 a pop! It is hard trying to stick all those sticks into floral foam without the fruit slipping down and the stick...well...sticking you in the hand!

On the bright side, Toshi and I's efforts were duly appreciated, which I am grateful for.



Here are a few photos from our recent foray to the Mingei International Museum at Balboa Park in San Diego. I feel so cultured!




Posted by Picasa

School Update

So, it occurs to me that I have not done a homeschool update for some time. So, here goes. First off, I am happy to say, I have found a fantastic curriculum that I positively LOVE. It is from a little home-based Christian company called Homeschool in the Woods. It is primarily focused on history, but also includes a few science experiments, penmenship, writing, etc. The kids and I are having a ball with all the many hands-on projects! And I love it, because we can go at our own pace without worrying about trying to stick to a daily schedule. (AND it's only $30 per unit--on CD, plus your cost of printing!)

We are currently doing a unit on New World explorers. The top two pictures are of the kids tasting lime juice. As probably most of my readers are already aware, one of the best ways the old sailors avoided scurvy was to squeeze limes and drink the juice. For that reason the sailors were called "limeys." We have also enjoyed learning how the sailors slept--in their "hamacas" and testing one out (which I had picked up at a yardsale for a couple of bucks), tying various knots (which the kids tested out on poor unsuspecting Enoch), cooking Spanish empanadas and spice cookies, making our own boat (with a cardboard box), making a captain's log, and taste-testing various kinds of foods the sailors would have eaten, such as "salt horse" (jerky), dried fruits, and hard tack (Mom's homemade wheat bread--Maile kept referring to it as "heart attack." Not sure how I feel about that.)

Anyway, that is all in week one of this curriculum's schedule (which actually took us about two weeks.) So much fun. I love how laid back school and our schedule has become. I feel like I am learning a lot too! For math we usually do a couple pages a day, and same with letters and numbers for Maile. I have decided since we are spending so much time on history, we are going to take an entire week every month and a half and focus on science and English.

We continue to go to museums here and there, and listen to lots of books on CD. We just finished Hatchet and Dr. Doolittle.
Life is good!




Posted by Picasa

Of Lizards and Leila

Imagine the start I got when I rounded the corner of the dining room table and got an eyeful of this little bugger! (Please ignore the Cheerio in the upper right.) The only way I can think of that he would have come in is from the back deck (I frequently leave the screen open so Leila can crawl in and out), or possibly through the front door, the screen of which is invariably left open by members of the household who shall remain unnamed.

Which leads me to a rather embarrassing moment. (I will blame Curtis for it!) The other day, my upstairs neighbor paid me a very kind compliment and told me he thought I was a great mom. Not 10 minutes later, there he was at my door carrying Leila, who had escaped out the front door (which someone had left wide open, of course) and scooted up the stairs as fast as her little legs could go. In my defense, I had gone to the bathroom and had put Curtis in charge, but how are you supposed to tell that to the neighbor? "Yeah, thanks for bringing my kid back. It's all my husband's fault. I really am a good mom, I promise!"
Posted by Picasa

Of Skaterboy

So, I don't claim to be much of a photographer, but I am definitely a wannabe! Check out these cool photos I took of Enoch at the skate park. Sweet, huh?! (No, he is not a skater--these were staged--sorry Enie, I can not tell a lie (-;)




Posted by Picasa

Of Legoland Fun

We have been very much enjoying our Legoland passes! These pictures are from one of our family outings--we had a great time bringing Enoch along on this trip! Much to the kids' sorrow though, this trip was probably one of the last of the season until school starts up again. Momma doesn't do lines and crowds!

Posted by Picasa

Of Bonfires on the Beach

So, I think I pretty much have the greatest family ever.

These pictures are from a fun evening that Kayla planned for us. (Thank goodness for Kayla, or our lives would be extremely dull!)

We went to one of the few beaches in the area that allows bonfires, had a fire, roasted marshmallows and enjoyed tin foil dinners.

The cool black pipes provided some neat photo ops.




Posted by Picasa