Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carina's latest haiku

Ocean waves roll in
Foam against the sandy shore
Then slide back to sea

(this is my personal favorite of hers)

Monday, December 13, 2010

Gingerbread Man

A fun activity/dessert with the missionaries.

Got milk?

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Los Angeles Temple visitors' center

Semi-lousy pic but we had some fun on the temple grounds with Diego and Jennifer and family seeing the pretty lights.

The new visitors' center is amazing, on par with the state-of-the-art centers found in Salt Lake and Mesa. Really neat.

Carina's ornaments

Carina has been on a bit of a poetic streak lately. Andrea found these ornaments hanging on the tree tonight.

Ever since her unit on poetry, especially Haiku, she has been writing some of the cutest things. She's always enjoyed writing, but it seems that her intro to poetry has opened her eyes to the realization that she can be completely free to let her imagination run wild.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Wesley will win 200 pesos if he wins his wrestling match.
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tea Time Ladies!

Carina and Maddie set up a tea party for their aunts and baby cousins. They were all so cute together!  They had hot chocolate and the babies had fun cutting up their own bananas.

My new credenza

Since moving everything around in the family room, the big wall has appeared so bare. What's a girl to do, but find a credenza in the alley. Everything I find usually needs repair of some kind and for sure paint. But not this piece. Isn't it awesome? It's so Anthro! I love the detailing along the drawers and bottom. It will now house our art supplies and other office things.
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Zach teaches a class

"Paint only four popsicle sticks red"

"You need 9 popsicle sticks altogether"

"use the blue to make a rectangle to draw your stars onto."

Zachary taught the kids at Pack Meeting how to make an American flag out of popsicle sticks. He did this to finish up his requirements for his religious knot from his Faith in God book. He will be receiving it in December along with his Webelos badge. Zachary is enjoying Webelos and has an amazing husband and wife team as leaders. They do such great projects every week. Great job Zach!
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Awards and Rewards

Zach stopped biting his fingernails
He also received the
Academic Achievement award

Carina received the academic achievement award and the Citizenship award for all "E's"

They have both been working hard in school and at home. Zachary has come a very long way with his fingernails. What's a mom to do when nothing else works? Offer legos as a reward. Hey, it worked!
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Sacagawea comes to LA

I got to play Sacagawea for the second time at Miller Elementary. It is part of a Time Travelers program the PTA sponsors twice a year where actors portray different historical figures. They have one in the fall and in the spring with different characters. I had to memorize a script and go to 6 different classes and talk to the kids and answer questions about Sacagawea. I had so much fun being with all those little kids. I love their enthusiasm! They are all so sweet! I am so grateful for early American explorers like Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea. How amazing it must have been to discover such great beauty that surrounds us in our country. I am also grateful that my life is amazingly easier than theirs ever was. They endured such hardships! Wow!
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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Our Family's Christmas List

I'm mostly posting this here so we can have a place for us to keep track of it.

Inspired by the simple yet thoughtful gifts exchanged in the Laura Ingalls home (Little House,) each year we make a small gift for each other.

this person . . . makes for . . . this person

Andrea . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Wes
Willie . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Madeline
Wesley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Willie
Madeline . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Carina
Zachary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Andrea
Carina . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Zach

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Maddie's Fall Concert

Last night was Maddie's Fall Concert. This year Maddie is in Concert Band, which is the 7th grade band. They played three pieces and sounded awesome! Maddie looked so pretty in her curls and so grown up. She loves playing the french horn and especially loves her teacher, Mrs. Snell. She is her pretty much her idol. Mrs. Snell is expecting a baby next month but will be back in January. I am so grateful that Maddie could be involved in the music program at John Muir. Maddie blesses our lives with her music and her talents. We love her so much!

We were so happy that grandma and grandpa could be at the concert with us!
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Monday, November 1, 2010


Zaire is Maddie's bird. That crazy bird loves to hang out in the strangest places. Some of her favorites are the doll house, the top of the laptop, and also my kitchen window. She loves to look out the window at the trees. I'm sure she just wishes she could be there. About 30 minutes ago I came down to the family room to put away some costumes and when I turned around, there she was. I almost stepped on her. I have no idea how she got out of the cage, but she's a sneaky one. Good thing I grabbed her before Strudel did. Yikes! That would have been ugly!!!!
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Monday, October 4, 2010

Carina the Peacebuilder

Carina was the peacebuilder for the month of September. It was a total surprise. She had no idea it was gonna be her. She was pretty excited, but a little shy at the same time. We love our sweet girl. The character trait for September was responsiblity. She is doing really well in second grade and is enjoying her new friends and loves to read and draw. The other little girl is one of Carina's best friends. She is a sweetie too!
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Monday, September 20, 2010

FHE Journal Entry

Tonight for Family Home Evening, Andrea taught a lesson on journal-writing.  She suggested we make a journal entry about the scripture in Mosiah, chapter two, verse 17.

King Benjamin is delivering his address to the saints who have gathered to the temple to hear his words.  He says:

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

I've always felt like service is so key to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's what he did during his short ministry.  When I serve others, I feel good, and I'm helping someone who needs the help.  Both are edified.

I'm thankful for opportunities to serve.  The other week in church, during a lesson, our instructor was illustrating how key and how central home teaching is to the elders quorum.  Home teaching is really about service, but as we listed the other church-ey duties of the elders quorum, we listed other functions of the quorum, and of the priesthood in general: setting up chairs, helping people move.

In a related vein, I'm reminded of something I was taught by a member of our stake presidency in Provo.  He said that home teaching most closely resembles that which the Savior did during his earthly ministry.  I have a testimony that this is true, and that when we serve our fellow man, we serve our God.  We do the work he sent us to do; we do the things Jesus would do if he were here.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Furniture everywhere I go

The kids joke that I have eagle eyes for furniture on the side of the road. But can you explain this one? I found this at Carpenteria Beach last month. It looks like it could be the cover of an album. Don't you think? I have found some pretty cool things since moving to California.
Just in case you're wondering, I didn't bring it home.
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Pet Shop Paradise

Carina's latest habitat creation. The base is homemade playdough. The plants, trees, and bamboo fence are all from a bush in the front yard. The tarp is with dad's help. Check out the fire! Carina is always so creative. She has so much fun creating different habitats for her pet shops.
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First day of School

Carina the 2nd grader, Zachary the big 5th grader, and Maddie the 7th grader. I forgot to take Wesley's picture. I know, it's terrible. I got so caught up in this whole high school business and getting him there super early, that I forgot to snap a photo. I'll get a picture of him next week. He's got his first water polo match.
We've been in school three weeks now and things are going well. Everyone likes their teachers. The kids are all making new friends. Maddie has started up with the french horn again and seminary is in session. We are super busy and everyone is happy. Mom gets to do laundry and go on errands and dad is at work making it all possible.
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More fun Beachcombing

The crabs were huge and they were everywhere. Zach and Scott were fascinated by the tar, especially since we told them not to touch it, which they did of course.
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