Friday, July 31, 2015

Icehouse Reservoir

So one of our very favorite places to camp is Icehouse Reservoir.  It's less than an hour and a half from us and is so beautiful.  This is a photo I took of Union Valley Reservoir which is the lake just past where we stayed.  We've stayed there before.  The weather was gorgeous.  A little warm for camping ... in the 90's but it was 106 at home so we couldn't complain.
We hung out by the lake quite a bit.  The water was chilly.  The kids both helped out a ton ... Kyla cooked 2 dinners and Brian and the kids went fishing a few times but didn't catch anything.  We all love playing games.  One of our recent favorites is Skip-Bo and of course Sorry is always fun. 
So ... one of these photos was taken with my fancy schmancy $750 Canon camera and the other one was taken with my iPhone 6.  Can you guess which one is which?  Results at the bottom of this post.

Kyla made raspberry and strawberry kabobs to go with breakfast on the first morning.  Yum. 
We weren't quite sure how taking Daisy camping would go but boy were we pleasantly surprised.  She was off leash almost the entire time and never left our site (except to follow Trixie a few times).  She slept great and was just easy.  She got a little yappy at times with other dogs but other than that it was quite a success.  Thank god because boarding is so expensive these days.  Who said little dogs aren't outdoorsy. 
Daisy's first ride on the kayak.  She wasn't too sure about it. 
Who's the captain of this boat? 
Just wanted to get ONE good picture of the kids together.  Lets just say it was rough but I got some great outtakes.  Love these kiddos.  Good times. 
I love how this one turned out.
Such a water girl.  Love her.  My favorite moment from the trip is watching her learn how to skip rocks ... and the huge smile when she finally got a triple skip.  Smile.
Roscoe used to love corn on the cob and we realized Trixie's never tried it yet.  She loved it and of course, it wasn't long before Daisy got in there too.  Brian's so funny.  They each had burgers and corn.  Special occasion. 
Daisy had a harder time because of her HUGE overbite.  Haha. 
Mason loves this little doggie. 
Seriously.  I could just look at this face all day.  I love her freckles. 
The top photo was taken with my big camera and the 2nd one with my phone.  I find myself using my big camera less and less these days.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Nearing the end

The end of the school year is bittersweet for me.  I'm excited for all of the fun trips and plans that we have for the summer but deeply saddened bummed that the kids will be home 24/7 and I'll have to at some degree keep them fed, watered and entertained.  Fortunately they're old enough that if I have to run a quick errand or go to the store, I don't need to drag them along with me anymore. I think we're done with homework for the year though which is a very good thing.  Kyla was a new person today without having to do her homework looming over her head.  She loved her teacher this year.  Mason's teacher was fabulous as well and is moving up to 6th grade so there's a chance he may get her again.  He wants Mrs. Orsolini though because she's a big Dodger fan and they can talk baseball.  :-)

Mason's team came in 2nd place in their league so they're moving on to the District Championships.  Let me tell you, the kid is obsessed with baseball.  He'll play ball with you as long as you'll keep up and when he's not playing or practicing with the team, he's watching old baseball games on YouTube or stories about baseball, etc.  For most of the TOC Games he played catcher or short stop but he feels comfortable with any position.  He hasn't been playing video games lately.  He goes in and out of that. 

Kyla is sure growing up quickly.  She often answers the phone when I call home from work and she sounds about 13 years old.  She amazes me with the amount of wisdom she has at such an early age.  Sadly, she's less attached to me that she was before.  Totally normal I know, but boo-hoo.  She enjoys hanging out in her room, FaceTiming on the phone with her bestie or playing outside.  She spends a ton of time drawing and believe me, she is so good at it.  She watches YouTube to get ideas and help.  Crafty girl. 

Crazy how different my 2 children are. 

Mason - not a care in the world.  I don't think he's ever had a sleepless night or worry in the world.  Never stressed.  School comes easy to him for the most part.  He loves to read and is a super fast reader too.  Typical guy I guess with the sleep thing. 

Kyla - worries about everything (wonder where she gets that from).  She was sobbing the other day because she was worried she'd get a bad grade on her report card and has never as much gotten even a progress report.  I couldn't figure that one out.  She has trouble sleeping just about every night and even worries about whether she'll be able to sleep. 

I'm going to look up their Astrological Signs just for kicks.

Taurus is a Fixed Earth sign, ruled by Venus.  As the second sign in the zodiac, the Taurus individual is a stable, conservative, home-loving individual who will always make a loyal friend or partner.   Famous and historical figures sharing the Taurus traits include Ulysses Grant (April 27), Harry Truman (May 8), George Clooney (May 6), and Audrey Hepburn (May 4). 

The Taurus personality is one of the most easily recognizable of the zodiac.  These are steady, reliable people who only rarely get frazzled or upset.  Like a bull, the Taurus personality will almost never lose course and will remain level no matter what chaos surrounds him.  Taurus knows his own strength but usually handles situations with dignity and self-control.  Push him too far, though, and the Taurus individual can suddenly turn into a raging bull, and once this happens, he will be difficult to calm.  And oh yes, lest we forget, the Taurus individual is stubborn - the most stubborn of all the zodiac signs.  Once he forms an opinion, he is immovable, and nothing will change his mind.   Taurus likes the good life, but tends to be careful with money, slowly building up wealth as he goes.  Not all Taureans are rich, but you won't find many at the very bottom of society. 

For those with a Taurus child, one thing to remember from the start is that you will never, ever be able to steer this child in a direction in which he does not want to go.  This is a sturdy child with a good appetite - sometimes too good.  Watch out for overindulgence with this kid.  When young, the Taurus child may be prone to fly into rages over little upsets, and these will have to be handled with quiet logic rather than force, or the situation will quickly spiral out of control.  Taurus children will generally obey the rules and will follow a steady course in school., usually somewhere in the middle of the class.  The child will appreciate comfortable surroundings in his bedroom and consistency in his schedule.  Don't rock the boat by changing things around too much in the Taurus child's domain.  Encouraging social interaction is good for the Taurus child, as he is quite comfortable being alone, and will generally not seek out friends and playmates on his own.  There's a definite selfish trait in these children, so teaching sharing and concern for others from an early age is essential.  These children like material possessions from day one, so provide as many quality toys as possible, and you will have a happy child who does not get lonely or need excessive attention.  Watch out for a lazy streak in the Taurus child - they may be slow to walk or crawl,  and they may be content to play in one spot in their room for long periods.  Find stimulating activities to get this child out of his chair, as he probably won't motivate himself in this respect.

Adult Taureans in the workplace are the ones with neat, well-appointed, comfortable offices that never change much.  These folks handle tasks steadily and confidently, rarely complaining or getting into a tizzy about minor setbacks.  They are reliable, focused, practical, and usually right on time.   They won't turn out work in record time, but rather will just make steady progress until the given task is completed.  They are honest and forthright, and are usually well-regarded and well-respected by their colleagues.  Employers love Taurus individuals, because they are dependable, work hard, stay late if necessary, and never complain.  Taureans tend to keep jobs for a long time - often for life -  because they hate change.  Many are business owners themselves, and good ones at that because of their steady, stoic personas.

Mason's is right on ... except the appetite part.  Kid doesn't eat anything.  Stubborn and bull headed but dependable.  Loves consistency and is careful with his money.  Still a spender but does a ton of research beforehand and always looks for a sale or a good deal.


Aries is a Cardinal Fire sign, ruled by Mars.  As the first sign in the zodiac, and corresponding with the first day of spring, the Aries individual is a mover and shaker, fearlessly forging ahead or "springing forth"  into new territory.  Indeed, some very influential historical characters are found under this sign  including Thomas Jefferson (April 13) and Leonardo Da Vinci (April 15).  The raw power of the Aries/Taurus cusp personality gone bad is epitomized by none other than Adolph Hitler (April 20).

The Aries personality is always a force to be reckoned with.  These are curious and energetic individuals, always delving into new areas, but often quickly becoming bored and moving on, leaving unfinished projects in their wake.  Arians are forthcoming and direct.  They don't generally have hidden agendas or ulterior motives.  If they find an area in which they are interested for a long period, they can become quite accomplished, well-known, and wealthy. 

For those with an Aries child, you have a child with confidence and the innate resources to deal with new ideas and situations.  This child is likely quite opinionated and is often territorial about possessions.  This kid will tell you like it is according to their own inner truths, and will not feel bad about it later.  These are the free birds of childhood, and they feel that they have the right to explore new territories unhindered, both physical and mental.  Getting a child like this to follow the rules may be a challenge, but if they understand that the rule is for safety or other logical reasons, they are likely to agree and comply.  Even when young, all Arians are very competitive and cannot stand it if they do not come out on top.  This "me first" attitude will be evident throughout life, and they often get what they want simply because of this unshakable attitude.  The Arian child is very active, jumping into action whenever something interests him, but when asked to do uninteresting mundane tasks like cleaning their room they will resort to procrastination and even lies to get out of doing this unappealing job.  The Aries child will have problems in school occasionally, but their competitive nature will usually pull them through.  They want  more than anything to be Number One!

Adult Arians in the workplace do well if they find jobs in which they can work on their own terms.  Many Arians are self-employed for this reason, and many others are managers and foremen.  An Arian can function well under other people, however, as long as he has some authority over someone else too.  The Army structure with its many levels seems well-suited to Arians, and politics are a natural for this sign.  Occupations that involve driving and the open road are appealing to Aries, as are outside sales type occupations. Arians are intellectual more than spiritual, so you won't find too many in prominent religious or holistic capacities.  Arians will not be happy at the bottom of the heap unless they feel that they are in charge of something or someone.  An Arian will do well in a job situation with a big picture, with supporting cast to do the finishing work.

Kyla's is not even close except the procrastination when asked to clean her room.  She's defitely easily bored and a mover and a shaker though.  Tons of unfinished projects.  No "me first" attitude thank goodness.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Just jabber

So, over the past few days, I have had a horrible bout of stomach flu.  Well, the other morning, I was so miserable I was just moaning and groaning and Kyla looked at me and said, "Mom, I'm not doctor or anything, but I'd say you need to drink some water."  This girl.  I just love her.  Brian was working so she basically ran the show around here.  I was too sick to even get up with the kids before school.  Thank god, I made muffins the night before (and school lunches) so all they had to do was grab a muffin and pour some milk.  My neighborhood friends saved my life and drove the kids to school.  I called Brian and told him he was going to have to come home.  Kyla had an eye apt (doesn't need glasses) and basketball practice last night and there was just no way I could do any of it.  I basically slept from Tuesday evening until this afternoon (Thursday).  Still achy and run down but nothing like before.

Mason -

Mason is for the most part just an all around easy kid.  He does his homework without being asked.  I mean, I don't even have to check it or anything.  I just assume he'll get it done if needed.  He's a great reader and although I have a difficult time getting him to read each day, once he gets into a book, he may read for a couple of hours on the weekends, especially if we're in the car.  He's just too tired to read before bed and that's OK, I like for him to have a little time to just veg out, ya know.  Most of the books he's into are advanced for his grade level and he reads so fast.  Right now, he's working his way through the Maze Runner series.  I don't think he's ever gotten in trouble in school.  His teachers love him.  The biggest problem I have with Mason is that he is just down right lazy.  I mean LAZY.  He leaves his stuff everywhere and it's like pulling teeth to get him to do any work around here, especially hard work.  I can look around and see exactly where and what he's been doing all day.  Dishes on the table, wrappers on the couch, shoes and socks everywhere.  OMG.  Please tell me this is just a phase or that all boys his age are the same way.  Lord help me.  Drives me crazy.  He's addicted to Minecraft Videos on YouTube and he carries his iPad around all day watching them.  He doesn't hear a word I say.  What I love though is that he would much rather play outside than play video games.  All day long.  The other day he went from a basketball game, to a baseball game and then was home for about 10 minutes and went for 2 back to back 7 min miles.  He's definitely in a running kick lately and just asked to join a running club afterschool.  It's twice a week and he'll do a 5k run in April.  Love this boy.  The past week has been absolutely crazy with baseball games and practice.  He's on the Red Sox and so far they have won 4 out of 4 games.  Mason is hitting and fielding really well.  One thing about him, when he plays a sport, he's all in.  During basketball, he's out shooting baskets and now that baseball is in full swing (get it?), he wants to hit and pitch constantly.  He's a solid player at any position and believe me, they have him playing them all.  Smile.  He has been so much more affectionate with me lately (yay).  For a while, he wasn't loving on me much and would pull away when I tried.  Nowadays he will often come over and give me a kiss for no reason or a great big hug, it feels good, ya know?  I couldn't ask for much more in a son. 

Kyla -

Hmmm ... what to say about this sweet girl?  She still is a has always been a pleasure.  MOST of the time.  She's about 80% sweet and kind as can be and 20% moody, temperamental and dramatic.  And boy, when she's in a bad mood, watch out.  Everyone will suffer.  She's very sensitive if she doesn't get enough sleep (just like me).  Kyla is sweet, helpful and loving.  She tells me and shows me she loves me ALL.THE.TIME.  I love that she still asks for snuggles and random love and kisses.  True story ... when I'm sitting on the toilet, she'll try and come in and sit on my lap.  She's easy going and pretty much does her own thing ... rarely needs to be entertained.  She's super crafty ... loves to draw and create.  She has a vivid imagination and scares easily.  She's very funny and witty without trying to be.  Smile.  She's supportive of me and we really are friends.  We talk a lot and so far she confides in me when needed.  She doesn't get into the girl drama at school and never has.  Her friends are sweet and real.  She doesn't have a lot of friends but she has 3 that she really enjoys spending time with (plus a neighborhood full of girls to play with).  She chose not to play softball this year ... last year was her first and she had a crappy coach.  Hopefully she'll want to play next year.  I need to get her into something though.  Her days are busy with playing outside with the neighbors, not to mention she has a lot of homework this year.  Poor thing.  She's doing great in school too.  I figure, if I don't hear from the teachers, everything must be A-OK.  She didn't need a conference so that's good. 

These days she's very opinionated about what she wears to school.  Most days are capri black yoga pants and a t-shirt.  Jeans are a rarity.  She'll wear shorts but she's very specific as to which ones she likes.  Ugh.  She'd look so cute in a dress or skirt.  NO WAY THOUGH.  I've tried, believe me.  One day, I was teasing her and said that she had to start wearing dressing and she broke out in tears and told me that nobody in the 3rd grade wears a dress.  Also, the hair.  Must be a low pony tail or side low pony tail.  I don't fight her on these things ... if I do something else, she'll just take it out at school anyway.

Brian and I are doing well.  I can't believe it'll almost be 16 years that we've been together.  Married for 12.  Time flies.  Must go get my chores done.  Boo.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Pirahna's Soccer

I love taking pictures of Mason playing soccer.  He always give 110% and I love to see the faces he makes and all of his muscles.  Smile.  He is on the Pirahna's again this year.  They were the team that he played with the first season after we moved here.  Because of the other kids ages, he will only be able to play with this team every other year.  We love the kids AND the parents and are enjoying every minute of it.  Great coaches.  The are positive and really make it a fun experience for the boys.  It doesn't hurt that they are doing really well this season.  Mason mostly plays forward but every now and then, they'll put him in as a mid-fielder.  Game are so-much-fun to watch.

Just look at those thigh muscles.

Nice pass!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Bishop's Pumpkin Patch

Ok, lets face it ... it's getting more and more difficult to find things to do that 1.  Both kids will enjoy and 2.  Won't absolutely break the bank. (ME)  A fun day together used to be as simple as going to the park but let me tell you, that won't keep them occupied for long anymore unless they have friends there.  They'd rather just play outside with the neighbors but here's the thing ... I miss them. Sometimes it feels like with school, sports, their friends, the neighborhood kids, there isn't much time left for US.

Anyhow, I'll get off my rant.  I found something that we all enjoyed very much (not Brian, he was at work).  We went to Bishop's Pumpkin Patch in Wheatland.  This place is AMAZING.  I can't believe we hadn't been before, it's just about 40 minutes away from home.  This isn't just an ordinary pumpkin patch, it's a full day event.  We would have stayed longer but it was HOT so after about 4 hours we were wiped out.  So much for the kids to do.  This will be an annual thing for sure.

Where did my babies go?  I love this picture.

Mason ... being Mason.  Pretend singing while on the train.  Silly.

Where have pig races been all my life?  Wish I could have bet money on these guys.  I picked the winner for the 2 races we saw.

Petting zoo.  This was just so-so.  We really like the ones we can go into.  Goats were still cute none the less.

Mason took a good up-close photo.

Getting ready for the zip-line.

Mason (my safety kid), I'm sure double checking all the latches.  ;-)


Kyla (my daredevil).  Of course she went no hands.  I'm gonna have to watch out for this fearless one when she grows up.  Her little neck about snapped at the end, she'll be holding on next time.

All done.

Having a bite to eat.  By the way, the best Corn Dogs ever.

Just a cute pic.

Growing up too fast.

She's not far behind.

Riding the Carousel. 

Did she love it, I have about 20 pictures of her looking like this ... she was having SO much fun.  He had fun too.

All tuckered out.  One last photo before we headed home.  Hot, thirsty and tired.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I'm back!!

My poor sad blog, so sorry I've been away.  I love my blog so much but sometimes it starts to feel like a chore, know what I mean?  I just needed a little break.  I'm going to be skipping around a bit so the best way to keep up would be to enter your email address so you are notified with new posts.

Mason has been asking for a way to earn money.  For months, I've told him that he needs to start doing chores without griping if he wants to get any money.  Well, he said that he really wanted a chart or graph and wanted be able to see the money.  Wants a real payday.  So we came home, got on Pinterest and worked on a Chore Sheet.  Plan in motion.  I can just say, this is day 3 and he wakes up on chore days and makes his bed before he even leaves his room.  :-)  So far, so good.  They have chores 4 days a week (on other days, they just do what I say) and I pay them $2 per day.  

Funny story.  He said he wants to spend $10 a month on his Clash of Clans video game.  I told him that would be over 25% of his entire monthly allowance but whatever, it's his money.  Well, he said he was dying to spend $10 now and could he use some of the money that he already has in his wallet.  I said fine, it's your money.  He downloaded whatever it was, brought me the phone so I could enter a password and then a pop-up came up and said they he wouldn't need a password for purchases for 15 minutes. He gave me a look, I told him that I trusted him to not buy anything else, he gave me his $10 and was on his merry way.  About 30 minutes later he came up to me with tears in his eyes and said that he owes me $5 ... that he'd bought something else.  He began to sob and say that he felt so guilty and would never have been able to sleep that night.  (He's just like me).  I asked him if it was an accident or was he trying to get away with something.  He said, "Mom, I was sorta trying to get away with something."  I told him that I was glad that he told me, that I would've found out anyway and been mad and that we have to be able to trust each other.  Such a good kid.

On the list ... kitchen duty, bathroom clean up, pet care, vacuuming, make bed, math on the ipad, garbage/recycle and a few other.  Bonus money for picking up dog poop.  Yuck.

Kyla loved kitchen duty (for now).  We'll see how long that lasts.  She even went as far as vacuuming the floors.

By the way ... I'm sitting at Starbuck's while typing this and am next to a group of a 6 high school (I'm guessing) girls studying.  Wow, I'd rather sit next to a group of 8 years olds than spend another minute listening to these girls.  And dumb too .... wait, wait ... "What does profit mean?"  "OMG, how many calories is that." "Like how to you know what the percentage is?  I hope my computer can figure that out!"  And it goes on and on.  Time to go now.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Go Cardinal's!

I could watch his play baseball all day, every day.  Here are a few pictures.