Saturday, November 13, 2010

12 of 12 ~ November. Thank you to Aimee for introducing my to 12 of 12. Here are 12 random photos of my day yesterday, the 12th of November.
9:57am ~ Thanks Jenny for the reminder.
10:02am ~ Good morning sunshine. Teenagers and mornings without school don't really go together.
10:20am ~ I wonder how many time my washing machine has been on 12 of 12. It seems I am doing laundry every day. And no the kitty didn't get washed. She's just nosy.
11:30ish ~ Since Shawn was going to his dad's and Nate was at my dad's, Jacob and I needed something to do.
12:00ish ~ Making mini cupcakes, with Reese's chips. 12:15ish ~ um, this is my spot, notice my laptop.
12:30ish ~ These could be the best cupcakes EVER.
12:35ish ~ Again?
1:00ish ~ When we were out, Jacob also chose yarn for his teacher's scarf. I love that he likes to do this. That's one less gift for me to make!
1:00ish ~ Quality time together. Another Holiday gift.
6:30pm ~ Jacob got to chose dinner. Great choice.
6:45ish ~ I love conversations with Jacob. He's so animated.
It was a great day spent with Jacob. I do not get a full day with just one child very often. I hope days like this leave good memories for them, as they do for me.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

I survived my "unplugged weekend." We went out of town for the weekend, without my laptop or my cell phone! The only electronic item was my camera! About 11am yesterday, after printing off some letterboxing clues, we hit the road. (If you are not familiar with letterboxing check out First, we drove north to Fremont to pick up Joshua from school. It's about a three hour drive, so we planned some letterboxing to "stretch our legs."

Our first stop was Mission San Jose, which ironically is NOT in San Jose. One of the great things about letterboxing is that you get to see places you might not have otherwise, and sometimes you learn things. Jacob is studying California history this year and the missions are part of that. I think this one is less popular than some of the others. Maybe, we can model this one for his spring project. Anyway, there was (note past tense) a box in the mission park.
I love the architecture of the missions.
The next stop was a small park in Fremont, with a very cool train that you can climb on, and a letterbox. Don't worry Aimee, I'm not giving anything away, they aren't even close in this photo, lol.
This is Nater Tater's first letterbox, well his first with his own personal stamp, carved for him by Aimee when we were in Seattle this summer. He loved it. I think we may have to do more of this now that he is into it.
Jacob has had his own stamp and book for a couple of years now. He had fun, but doesn't seem to be as into it as Nate.
I love it when letter box planters are creative in their clues. Our next box led us to another park, the clue included a list (i.e. Locust, Locust, Dr Suess, Dangerous, Locust, Redwood, etc) Joshua realized that it seemed to fit a row of trees.
Dr. Suess, can you see it?
Dangerous, would you want to climb this tree?
Our last box of the evening. It was getting to dark to read the clues, much less find what you we were looking for. I love this photo, just wish Joshua were in it too, but he was behind the camera.
Then we drove to Monterey. There always seems to be a pillow fight when we stay in a hotel. Tradition? Maybe, it's because there are SO many pillows, lol. Always makes me smile!
We almost got rained out today. But, a little rain can't keep my beach bum out of the sand.
Same goes for me. I am drawn to the ocean.
And what's more fun than puddle jumping in the parking lot?
It was wonderful weekend. It's nice to be connected again. But, I would totally do it again, no phone calls, texts emails. And I didn't miss anything earth shattering! Hope you all had a good weekend.

Friday, October 22, 2010

A friend of mine was asking on Facebook about blog themes. I have seen quite a few and thought to myself, "that would be a good way to increase my posting." Well, honestly, so far it hasn't helped. I try to remember 12 of 12 each month. And I have attempted NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month, each November) a couple of times, without success. So, I thought I would attempt my own one day a week posting for fun. And here it begins. Please play along and give me my 15 minutes of blog fave, lol. Post your blog address in the comments. (And if I have stolen someone else's theme, I'm sorry, add me to your blog roll, because I haven't figured out how to do that yet.)

I know introduce "Fun Friday Fotos." A random, fun photo from your Friday.

Today, after school, Nate felt the need to show me what he had in his pocket. So here we have my first Fun Friday Fotos entry:

A Little Boy's Pocket Full of Treasures

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Light the Night 2010, Part 1

Last night was the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk to raise funds for blood cancer research. Not only is this where I work, it is an organization that I whole heartily believe in. When I interned at Children's Hospital, I got to see the benefits of LLS to families first hand. Now, I get to help make it happen. Yesterday, I got to bring Light the Night to the children in the hospital. It was an all day affair. We started with taking stars for the children to decorate to hang at the walk site, so those coming out to walk would know that the children were with them. In the evening, we had our own little walk at the hospital complete with balloon release and walk around the oncology floor.

These are a couple of my super star volunteers. I put a call out for Spanish speaking volunteers to help me at the hospital, in case there were children/families who spoke only Spanish. Mrs. D. (principal extraordinaire (now retired), I have mentioned her before) and her bilingual hubby Dan. I very much appreciate their participation and it was great to see them both again.

This sweet girl is Melanie. She could not come out with us because it is not safe for her to be around other people right now. She was alone when I came by her room, playing with her play dough. I had to wear a gown to visit her. We had so much fun decorating stars. I didn't want to leave.

Meet Gary, aka Turbo. Turbo and his dad are well known around the office. But, this was the first time I got to meet him. When he's not putting all of his energy into fighting his cancer, he likes to do things like skateboard. Last week he was visiting a water park and fell and broke his leg. Even that has not slowed him down much! Turbo is not the only fighter in his family. His dad is an amputee who designed his own snow board that he could attach a crutch to so he could balance and keep snowboarding. This family rocks!

We had three "Arches of Hope" along the walk course. We hung the stars on the arches to remind everyone why we do this. We also had a table at the walk site where people could decorate stars to hang on the arches.

Another arch starting to get decorated.

Dad: You're going to put all those balloons in your car? I don't think so. Plan B. As you can see, the back seat is already full of balloons. We had to get them to the hospital somehow... Along with the ice chest, snacks, binoculars, glow sticks...

I just thought this was a cool photo of the start finish line. The sky was pretty, but the clouds were coming in. I was hoping the rain would hold off until after the walk. (It did. But, we did get a nice lightening show in the distance.)
The walk site had some really cool activities for kids. There were bounces houses and this really cool tricycle track.
Another view of the tricycle track.
The banner making table, for teams who had not yet decorated their team banner. They had paint and markers. It was a quick fix, but some really cute banner came off that table.
This was the view from the moon roof of my car, making sure the balloons stayed put!
We made, with all the balloons in tact. See Part 2, for more from Light the Night!
Light the Night 2010, part 2

We were not allowed to bring latex balloons to the hospital. So, we were able to get permission to release the white "survivor" Light the Night balloons on the hospital patio. The patients were given mylar star balloons to keep. Here we are getting ready to release the balloons. Each balloon had a small glow stick in it to "light the night."
Fortunately, we had enough balloons for every to participate! Family and friends are really part of the fight too. It was fun to have so many children participate.
Check out the little guy in his Batman jammies. Dad pushed his IV pole while they walked. The young lady sitting in this photo, she did the "walk" in a wheelchair. But, she walked out on the patio with us to release balloons. (Unfortunately, the photos of the balloons going up didn't turn out. But, I did hear that they could see them from the walk site.)
Signing the banner for "Team Children's." Two children led the hospital walk carrying the team banner. I do not having any still photos of the walk. I have video which I need to download. (Leave a comment and let me know if you want to see it.) It really was amazing/heartbreaking/heartwarming/inspiring.
The little guy signing the banner is Jason. He was visiting his cousin who is in treatment. Jason goes to Nate's school. They were in the same kindergarten class. It really is a small world, and you never know cancer may touch someone you know.
Having a snack after the walk
I didn't get this little sweetie's name. But, she sure loved the balloons. Not even able to walk, but she's a fighter. So unfair!
This Melanie was not able to leave her room, I brought her back a couple of balloons after the walk. Mom was back when I stopped by. I introduced myself and told her I had been by earlier to decorate stars with Melanie. I kept one and left one in her room. Mom explained that she had gone home to take a shower and visit with her son. She said she does not get to see him much when Melanie is in the hospital. And when she returned Melanie was crying and asking why she left her. Can you even imagine being in that position? Here's Melanie with dinner that mom brought back for her.
This is Carlos. Carlos happened to arrive at the hospital the same time we returned with balloons. His plan was to play for the children on the oncology floor. Instead, he helped us unload and set up for our balloon release and walk. He was awesome. After, he played a song for my dad and I as we sat down for the first time of the day. It's awesome to see young people giving of themselves.

I am truly blessed to have a healthy family. I am also blessed to have a job that I love that gives me the opportunity to give back everyday. Oh, and it's not too late to donate to Light the Night, you have until October 31st! I'll even make it easy, here's the fundraising site for my team:

Monday, September 13, 2010

My friend Aimee found this 12 of 12 blog thing where you take 12 random photos on the 12th of the month and share them. I have done this a couple of times, but usually forget all about it until I see Aimee's. So yesterday, she reminded that 12 of 12 was today (it's still the 12th because I haven't slept yet, lol). So, here, my friends, is a glimpse into my day today.

2:00 am ~ My diligent husband working on some power point slides for Monday's class. He loves what he does and spends alot of time preparing.
The rest of the day started late. Since the children were sent in different directions, we were childless this morning, so we slept in...
11:30 am ~ Joshua and Brandi loading up his bike to go to the train station. Back to school for him tomorrow too.
11:55am ~ Joshua's train arrived a bit early. I love trains. I love to sit at the crossing and count the cars. I love model trains. And I loved it when my little boys were into Thomas and Friends.
12:05pm ~ Time to go. Have a good trip. See you on your birthday baby. Joshua will be 19 on Sept 30th. That is when he will be back again.
12:30pm ~ We took Brandi home after we dropped Joshua off. She's a nice girl. I think she just might be my daughter-in-law someday. I'm glad she likes me too, since she will be the woman in my sons life and the one supervising my grandchildren. I know it's a ways away, but I have often thought about the women my boys will marry.
12:45pm ~ Then Brian and I went to lunch, without children. We went to the Bulldog Grill (where I wanted to take Aimee and Jodi when they visited and introduce them to tri-tip). We had tri-tip sandwiches, Joshua's favorite food, after we put him on the train. And they were SO yummy.
2:00pm ~ Bug Bug. Joshua and I have a digital/text version of punch buggy. When he is at school, we take a photo of VW bugs that we see and text them to each other. This kind of bug is worth one point. Convertible, new bugs and hard top classic bugs are worth two points, and convertible classic bugs are worth three. At the end of the week, we tally the photos and winner owes the other a Pepsi/Diet Pepsi.
4:00pm ~ We went to pick Nate up from my dad's. My dad lives out in the country of Central California. This is the nation's largest agricultural region. One of the crops we passed on the way to my dad's was grape vineyard. These happened to be raisin grapes. Did you know that grapes are picked and laid on the ground, on paper trays, to dry into raisins? If you look close at the base of the vines, you can see the paper with drying raisins.
6:30pm ~ Another errand. Soccer starts this week for Nate. And each soccer season starts with a new pair of cleats, because last year's cleats never fit. His first game is Saturday. I can't wait to be sitting on the sidelines and cheer on the team, and the fast, lanky boy, with the red hair trailing in the wind. I am a soccer mom!
8:30pm ~ After getting home, getting the boys bathed, teeth brushed and tucked in, it's time for laundry. Ok, I did start it earlier, but I still had a couple loads before everyone had clean pants, shirts, socks and underwear. Behold, the red load, lol. We have a lot of red stuff around here.
9:00ish ~ Time to check in on facebook. Looks like Joshua make it to his dorm safely. Although, I already knew this. I got the text. I love that I am "friends" with my kids, and several of their friends, on Facebook.
10:ooish ~ If you are my friend on Facebook (if you are not, you should be), you know that I have been making bracelets and auctioning them to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Every Sunday, I spend some time with my beads and create a bracelet to post for the week. So, here some of the beads I was working with tonight. This is not all my beads, by far... The finished project is on Facebook. Come on over and bid. It's for a great cause!
Thanks for peeking into a day in my life. This is not an average Sunday. But, it was today. It's been a good day. I hope you all had a great day. I also hope you will share with me your day on the 12th of October. If I remember I will post a reminder :-)