Thursday, September 30, 2010

LA Kids Consignment Sale

I spent an hour and a half at the LA Kids Consignment Sale, and MAN do they have tons and tons of stuff.

I didn't take any of the photos of the event,  the consignment sale did.
Just racks and racks of clothes as far as the eye could see. 

Isles of toys & books,

and seas of high-chairs,

swings and bouncers,

 strollers and strollers and strollers,

 And rocking.. everything!!

 I went into this thinking I was only going to spend $40-$50.  When I actually sat down and figured out what I was going to need to buy to fill in The Tweedles wardrobes, I realized that I was being unrealistic in my estimates.   Given that some items were as high as $8 and as low as $2, that averaged about $4.50/item for this outing. And considering the awesome stuff I brought home, it was a steal at $4.50/item!

I took all of these pictures, but I apparently can't photo apparel. And my living room is NOT the best lighting for anything.  Sorry!
The best deal by FAR was this real leather jacket I got for Bug.  It's a size too big, but he looks so stinkin' cute in it!  And did I mention it was REAL LEATHER?  Yeah! I know!  I got this handy jacket for ... are you sitting down?  I got it for $6.50.  That is not a typo.  Six dollars and fifty cents.  It's awesome.

I also got Bug 5 long sleeve shirts (including that cute one that says "What happens at Grandma's STAYS at Grandma's".  And three turtlenecks.  The color is a little off on these.  The first is a brown one with trucks on it, and the last one is black with aliens, spaceships and planets on it.  Too cute!

I also got three dress shirts for church.  A black one with red chinese dragons that Bug just LOVES.  A long sleeve button up dress shirt that's light blue.  And finally, that green sweater-esque long sleeve polo. 

And finally I got him three pairs of pants.  Now, they're all size 3T, but only the middle pair actually fits right.  The tan pair is too small, and the Elmo pair is too big.  Next time, I'm going to measure Bug's waist and bring that measuring tape with me just to be sure, since you just can't trust kids' sizes.  You just can't.

This was my favorite outfit I got for Bunny.  It's a pink princess giraffe dress, with matching pink giraffe tights.  OMG!  I saw these and died.  Then I snatched them up and put them in the very bottom of my bag so no one would be tempted to steal them from me.  I love this dress. Bunny did a happy dance and I got a huge hug.  Not too shabby for $5.00.  Five dollars!

She also got this cozy winter jacket with butterflies on one side.

She got three winter jammie sets.  One pink feetie one.  One red plaid night gown and one cheatah two piece.  She is in LOVE.

I saw this tinkerbell long sleeve shirt and knew she would love it.  But the other shirt (which is really a bright pink, not red like it appears in this photo) called out to me.  And the shirt had jeans attached.  And I said, "Look shirt, you're adorable, and Bunny would love you, but you're a size 6.  The jeans won't even fit her."  And the shirt said "Yeah, but I'm only $6.00 for both me and the jeans, and besides, you're not buying toys, so really, what's an extra $6.00?".  And so that's how they ended up in my bag.  True story.

I also got Bunny this purple (darker than shown) long sleeve dress and this very beautiful black velvet top, mesh, satin and tool bottomed dress for Christmas.  I mean to say the velvet dress if for Christmas.  The other dress is just for her to wear, because she loves dresses.  And I don't mean to discriminate, but the purple dress on the left just isn't Christmas dress material.  Just keeping it real people.

Remember those toys that that pink top said I wasn't going to buy?  Well, somehow I ended up over in the toy area.  Honestly, I have no idea how it happened.  I think I might have been drugged.  Dirty bastards.  Anyway, before I knew it, all these toys were in my bag.  The grey curly thing in the upper right is a collapsible car track.  Perfect for small homes, so we can just collapse it and it takes up less space. Two dinosaurs to the left of that, Pretty Pretty Princess game (the Disney Princess version), a dress up set with a hair comb, a crown, a ring and a skirt.  Four DVD's (one Barbie, two land before time, and the second Lion King movie).  The movies are for our trip to the farm this Christmas.  These will hopefully keep the kids entertained.  A HUGE My Little Pony doll, a baggie of racing cars to go with the track, and finally, a fireman hat to go with Bug's fireman boots and fireman jacket that he already owns.  Everything here but the dvd's will be birthday presents.  Lets see if I can keep them hidden from The Tweedles that long!

All in all, an amazing haul! <-- Look I rhymed!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


A terrible photo, I did not take it.  I hope to get better pictures of my folks next week.
Parents.  We all have 'em.  Some of us love ours.  Some of us hate ours. I'm in the love mine camp.  I do, I can't seem to help myself.  Love 'em to pieces.  It's a hard love though, since they live so far away.  I only get to see both of them together once a year at most, some times less.  My dad used to visit more often because he would travel to SoCal on business on a fairly regular basis.  The Tweedles have gotten to know him pretty well. My mom less so since she didn't visit as often.  But I do talk to them once or twice a week.

They retired last year (as I may have mentioned here), but due to having to completely redo my grandparents farm house into something a bit more livable, they haven't had time to travel or do anything really they had wanted to upon retiring.  The house, thankfully, was finally finished a month or two ago, and since they've finally managed to unpack a reasonable amount, they're taking a trip out to see us.  They just told me today, they'll be here next Thursday (not tomorrow!).  I cannot wait.

The thing is, while I've spent most of my adult life away from them - the last 11 years in SoCal no less, since having The Tweedles, and having my sister pass away two years ago, it's been a lot harder having them so far away.  In fact, when they were ready to retire, we offered to let them build in my rather spacious back yard instead of at the farm, so they could be closer to us.  I regret not pushing harder for that.  I'm not sure it would have made much of a difference, as their reasoning to live in East Texas was entirely their own, but I should have tried.  I wish The Tweedles could spend every day coming home to two loving grandparents who live so close.  Getting to have that love-bond you can only get with your grandparent.  I want them to really know each other.

Thankfully, I feel like I had a very close relationship with my grandparents on my Mom's side.  Odd seeing how they lived in East Texas, and we lived, well, not in East Texas.  But we went to see them every summer for a long time.  All of us cousins did.  It created an environment where we got to become a lot closer as an extended family.  To this day I consider my cousin Kevin one of my best friends.  I know no matter what, he'll be there if I need him.  Not everyone has that sort of support from their immediate family, much less their extended one.

So The Hubs and I have already talked about continuing the tradition of sending our Tweedles to the farm for summers.  The kids will love the freedom of wild open spaces, wild animals, bugs, frogs, fire flies, fishing and swimming in the lake just like I did when I was a child.  And my parents will get to really spend some quality time with them.  I wish it had worked out for GG and LW to have the same experience.  They would have loved it.  Maybe their kids will someday get to experience the farm the way they should have.

At any rate.  The Old People will be here in just over a week.  I miss them.  It can't come soon enough.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hand-Me Downs

When I was growing up, my parents struggled financially, as most middle-class families with three kids do.  We weren't strangers to left overs.  We never went to Disneyland or on "destination" vacations.  We didn't go out to eat very often.  In fact, the once in a blue moon McDonald's trip was a real treat.  And when we went, we didn't usually get Happy Meals.  We did get sent to my grandparent's farm every summer, but I suspect that was more for my parent's sanity than anything else.  So it should comes as no surprise, that we embraced the concept of hand-me downs.

Now, my sister was 10 years older than me, and 8 years older than my older brother.  So, she didn't really hand much down in the way of clothes to either of us.  However, my brother and I were so close in age (only 2 years a part - I know you did the math up there at the top of the paragraph, but not all of us are such math wizards!  I like to speak out to my math-challenged people) that I got all of his hand-me downs.  Needless to say, I wandered around a lot in jeans and football tees.  Jammies weren't frilly night gowns, but hand-me downed long johns.  And to be honest, I never minded because I was such a tom-boy. 

Of course, now that I'm older, I wonder if I was a tom-boy because of my personality.  I mean, if my brother had been a sister hand-me downing frilly dresses with ruffles, would I have been more of a girly girl?  The world will never know.

Now that I'm a struggling middle-class mom, I'm also no stranger to hand-me downs.  LW didn't really get to experience this as the oldest, but GG got it in good measure.  Not only did she get LW's saved (for 7 years people - have I mentioned that The Hubs is a pack rat?) hand-me downs, but she also got ebay hand-me down purchases.  Now, some people might call that gently used clothes, or second hand clothes, but I consider them hand-me downs, even if I had to buy them.  I would search out "huge lot" clothing auctions where I could get an entire year's worth of clothes (in two or three seasons) all at once for a steal.  When the boxes would arrive, it would be like Christmas at our house.  We usually ended up with name brand clothing  in near mint condition that we could never have afforded brand new.  GG got to try on all of her new clothes the minute the box arrived and the fashion show that followed was always well worth the primp time required between each outfit.  GG still loves to take hours and hours to prepare for her "audience"!

We didn't save any of GG's clothes, space being at a premium in our 1200 SF house, and me not being a pack rat.  So when we had Bunny, I was so grateful to have a few friends giving me clothes for her.  We got a lot of new stuff at her baby shower, but newborns don't stay that way for long.  One friend in particular (Hi Laura!) was more than generous with her hand-me downs.  Some came with tags still on them!  When Bug came along, my friends, thankfully, stepped up again, resulting in me having to buy very little in the way of clothes for either of the two kids, even though it looks like I do.

Now, I want you to know how fully I aware I am of the hand-me down karma.  I have been so blessed by such amazing friends, and I have certainly passed along my own hand-me downs.  I have a very good friend who had a little girl just after I had Bug, and a little boy about a year later.   It's worked out perfectly handing down Bug and Bunny's clothes (some still with tags on!) to her kids.  We also have a cousin who had twin boys who we also hand-me down clothes too.  Honestly, I have no idea how people manage without hand-me downs in some form.  Kids grow so fast!  They wear an outfit once or twice, and then they out grow it.  Such a waste if you don't pass them along.

In two days, I'll be attempting to supplement Bug and Bunny's wardrobe.  The hand-me downs have been amazing, but most of Bug's hand-me downs are still a bit too big (stored in the attic) and this size of hand-me downs for Bunny must have been short lived, or girls are just hard on clothes at this age, because there weren't many for colder days. 

So, in two days, I'll be attending the LA Kids Consignment Sale in Burbank, CA.  They have 550 consigners selling over 50,000 gently used kids clothes, toys, books, art, high-chairs, swings, strollers, etc. etc.  If kids need it, they have it.  This will be the second time I'm attending one of their events and let me tell you, the deals are incredible.  The clothes I get usually run around $2 each and typically are named brand (not that I care about that stuff, just that typically they tend to be better made than their cheaper counter parts - but I still shop at wal-mart and target too, so I am not a snob by any stretch of the imagination)

Tomorrow I plan to do raid the kids closets and drawers and make sure the list I already have going is going to completely fill in The Tweedles wardrobe.  I'm hoping to spend no more than about $40-$50 to fill in what's needed, and I'm hoping that none of the cute toys will call my name.  This should be easier this time, since I plan to leave the Tweedles at home.  Last time I got roped into several toys including a new stick horse and a mini electric piano and a mini electric guitar!

Wish me luck!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, September 27, 2010


It's been hot here in SoCal.  Okay, that's a bit of an understatement.  Ridiculously hot might be a better way to phrase it.  It was already 76 when I went into work this morning.  At 6:20am.  That's right, 76 degrees before the sun was even up.  What's up with that?  And I'd like to point out that it's SEPTEMBER.  Not just any ol part of September, but nearing the very end.  It will, in fact, be October in just a few days.  Where did all this insane heat come from???

And to make matters worse, when I got home tonight, both of the Tweedles were demanding pool time.  And since The Hubs was trying to study for a test he's taking a little later tonight, and GG had homework of her own, guess who had to go out with them.  Now, you may have seen photos of our pool.  It's about 3' deep and 8' in diameter.  Plus, the little kids play in it.  So this isn't a pool I'm going to readily jump into.  But it's under the shade fabric near the deck, so I figured it would be okay.  So I grabbed my kindle and went out to read while they splashed. BIG.Mistake.  Huge.  I melted.  Then I died.  Then I melted some more.  I think I managed a good 1/2 hour before I dragged them both back inside kicking and screaming.  Heat stroke doesn't look good on me.

Anyway, the brain addling heat has gotten to me.  I've had the song below in my head for several days now.  I can't seem to get rid of it.  So I thought I'd share.  And if you hate country, you can probably skip it, even if it is a funny one.  Enjoy!

I need this heat wave to break before my brain completely cooks!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Sunday, September 26, 2010

The "Perfect" Dress

So, GG's sweet 16 party plans are gearing up.

Step 1.

GG informed me her "theme" for party was 1920's glam.  We're not talking flapper dresses here people.

Actually, let me back up.  Originally it was going to a 1800's masquerade ball.  She asked to wear my wedding gown.  Let me give you a moment to process that. Yeah, after I got done laughing at her, I told her we'd take a bunch of her friends around to all the thrift stores to try on wedding dresses that we could then dye pretty colors for the party.  Not sure what happened to this plan, but over the summer we fast forwarded a century and now it's 1920's glam.

After a few hours of searching, we settled on this dress but in a medium purple color.

It was very glam.  It was very 20s.  It was a mermaid cut, which is exactly what she wanted. (you can find it here on ebay by seller JenniferWu58)

Sometime in the last few weeks, this dress was tossed out on it's bling and ruching.  And we went through a few more rounds of dresses.  Starting with this one:

 It wouldn't be in blue of course.  It would be in a medium purple.  And while this dress is in fact mermaid, and definitely an evening gown.  For some reason, it just didn't scream 1920s.  I don't know why.  Just go with me on this one. (You can get this dress here, by ebay seller East.Charm)

Then there was this choice.

It was glammy.  And of course, she'd want it in a medium purple.  The glammy rhinestones are nice.  I like the boa-esque shoulder strap.  But the folds on the top were a little too geometic to be 1920s and she just wasn't in love with it. (You can get this dress here from ebay seller Allurelove)

There have been a few tears tonight while we try to find THE.DRESS.  A few phone calls to her mom to find something that would be perfect.  A few phone calls to a seamstress friend to talk about costs and styles and if what we were finding were even good deals.  A few more talks with me.  A few more talks with her Mom.  Did I mention there were a few tears?

She did pick a dress - not one of the ones shown.  I don't know yet if it's going to be THE.DRESS.  But she'll need to decide soon, as we're quickly closing in on the 6 week delivery time a custom dress like this will require.  I just hope, no matter what dress she ultimately decides on, that she feels like the beautiful young woman she is when she finally gets to wear it at her party.  At the end of the day, a sweet 16 is about signifying coming into adulthood.  It's a rite of passage and an important stepping stone.  So far this year, she's shown such huge improvement in her maturity.  Just from the end of last year to the beginning of this one.  It's one of many steps along her path and while life is never perfect, I hope for this one night, all her dreams come true.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

P.S. As usual, these are not paid advertisements.  Neither Ebay nor the Sellers has any clue who I am, and probably couldn't care less.  These are simply the dresses GG found that she liked.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Arrow Making I

Today we spent about 7 hours making arrows.  Okay, we didn't finish, but we made a pretty big dent in the process.

I started sanding a dozen 5/16" diameter, Ramin wood arrows with two different kinds of fine sanding paper.  Not so much fun, but a necessary part of the process.  Once they were all smooth, I used a weight to straighten out the arrows.  Also, not so exciting, but good to do if you want your arrows to fly straight.  Then we got to the fun stuff!

I had to design the cresting for my arrows.  Cresting is the pretty colored pattern at the end of the arrow by the fletching (the feather part).  The only basic rules I got for this part, was that you want to pinstripe between colors with either silver, gold or black to make the colors pop.  You can use any color or colors you want.  Orange is apparently the least used color.  I don't like orange, so I didn't use it either.  Once you get your design drawn out (to scale) on paper, you can start to make it come together.

In my case, my very first color was blue.  The first thing you do is dip the arrow in that first color.  I'm sure there's a lot of good reasons for this, but typically, this is the biggest "section" of color in a cresting because you usually have it run the full length of the fletching (feather).  I chose blue because it's my favorite color.

Here's me dipping the end of one of my arrows. 

Then we hang them up on a make shift clothes line to dry.  The end is sharpened to fit the nock (the part that you put on the string of your bow), so don't mistake it for the arrow head end.

Then we add the nock with a little glue and then the rest of the painting begins.  We use a little motor that turns the arrows so that our lines are clean as we paint.

A steady hand is required here.  And patience.  I did all 12 arrows, doing two colors at a time.

Here's my finished arrow.  Remember that the big blue section on the right will have the fletching added.  The next color chunk is purple (hard to see in this shot - The Hubs took it, not me!), then a smaller section of red, then a small section of pink, and a small section of blue.  I took this opportunity to have my cresting represent the kids.  Purple is LW's favorite color, and she's the oldest by quite a bit.  She's 7 years older than GG so I made her section the biggest.  GG's favorite color is red, and her section is about half the size of LW's.  Then a much smaller section of pink for Bunny (of course) and blue for Bug.  I have no idea if blue is Bug's favorite color, but it's what I chose to represent him. 

I actually love how they came out.  I can't wait until tomorrow when I get to pinstripe between the colors with silver.  They should really stand out then!  I'm also hoping to put the fletching and arrow tips on them tomorrow as well.  I'll keep you posted.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lahvosh Bread

Lahvosh Bread.

So easy to prepare.  It shows up in this large round cracker style.  Simply lightly, wet it down.

Then break it up into smaller pieces onto a plate.

This stuff is yummy.  We typically have it with butter at dinner time.  The kids eat it up like it's going out of style.  The girls' grandmother loves it because in it's dry (cracker-like) state, it keeps for a long time and since it's flat, she just stores it on top of her fridge.  

So, you can buy this in a lot of places.  The girls' grandmother happens to get hers online from Valley Lahvosh Baking Co. in Frensno CA.  A little background on this place, it was founded in 1922 by Gazair Saghatelian.  Gazair was a master baker  in his native Armenia and was well known for creating his deliciously different breads and cracker breads.  Today, Valley Lahvosh is run by his youngest daughter Janet and her daughter Agnes in it's original location.  How's that for longevity?

Read further if you want a little more history about this stuff.

"There are many different flatbreads baked throughout the easter Mediterranean, the Middle East and India--from pita or naan--but lahvash is perhaps the oldest. This bread-in-various shapes and sizes, and in textures ranging from soft and pliable to crisp and crackerlike--is a staple throughout Armenia and in parts of Georgia, Iran, and Lebanon. Armenian lahvash has been prepared in the same way for thousands of years: Long sheets of dough are stretched and baked in a clay oven similar to an Indian tandoor. The nomadic peoples crisscrossing Asia knew a good thing when they saw it: A filled and rolled-up lahvash sandwich might be the ultimate in picnic fare (easily transportable, its food, eating utensil, and container all in one). Lahvash is also delicious served with stews such as Morrocan tagine or an Indian curry, or with a favorite dip."

Try it.  You'll like it.  I promise!

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Sir Knight

"Mommy!!!  I a knight!!  I fight dwagons and giants!" - Bug

1/125, f8.0, iso 200 25 mm

He was offended when I asked him to stand still.  He was a knight after all.  Knights don't stand still.

1/100, f8.0, iso 200, 43mm
He whirled and twirled, thrusted and parried like a true fighter.

1/125, f7.1, iso 200, 20 mm
If only his helmet would stay on.

1/15, f22, iso 200, 37mm

Thanks Nanny!  He's been fighting dwagons and giants since he got home.  He loves it!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Not So Much.

There are a ton of things I really love about school.  I was admittedly, one of those weird kids who loved school.  I was absolutely bored to tears after the first few days of summer vacation and couldn't wait for school to start again.  All those new pens and notebooks just waiting to be written in.  New books to read and things to learn.  Teachers to get to know, and friends too.  Especially friends.

Now that Bunny is finally in Kinder, you know I took great joy in buying all sorts of school supplies for her and for GG too.  I loved the new clothes.  So cute, let me tell you!  I love this time of year.  Everything is new and wonderful.  It's like Spring for your mind! 

I really loved having GG come home and tell me about each of her classes.  The teachers she was afraid of, and now adores.  I love that a week in, she swears it feels like a month already!  I love that she's making friends in all of her classes and has new boys to tell me about.

I love that Bunny has real, live, honest to goodness, homework assigned by a teacher.  Homework that we have to work on every night!  I love that her teacher had them decorate a "homework" box and filled it with crayons, scissors, a pencil, a pencil sharpener, glue and a big, pink eraser.  I love that Bunny is so excited every time we pull out the box to work on homework.

And while I love all of these things, there's something I do not love.  I do not love that we're just one week into the school year, and already Bunny is sick.  I do not love, that because Bug and Bunny share a room, that now Bug is also sick.  I really, really do not love that Bug went to take his nap this afternoon with the sniffles, and woke up with a fever of 101.1. 

Do I love school?

Do I love the germ sharing that always ends up running rampant through my house during the school year?
Yeah, not so much.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Flowers On A Tuesday

It's been, what feels like weeks, since I've had my camera in hand.  The hustle and bustle of getting everyone into a school routine sorta took my life over.  Now that we're settling in nicely, I had a moment this afternoon to just sit down and breath.  And what do you think is sitting right behind my laptop for me to gaze upon?  The roses from our rose ceremony from this past Saturday.  I also got conned into some absolutely beautiful purple flowers (Anyone know what these are?).  For only 2 bucks for a huge bundle, I couldn't refuse.  I'm such a sucker.

So you know what I did with those amazing flowers?  I took them right out to my new back deck to do a quick photo shoot.  And now that I have this amazing new back deck, I didn't even have to put shoes on.  This is very important.  No shoes = good.

So for your viewing pleasure, may I present, Flowers on a Tuesday.

1/100, f4.5, iso 800 35mm

1/100, f4.0, iso 800 24mm

1/40, f7.1, iso 800, 46mm

1/40, f5.0, iso 800, 46mm

1/40, f5.6, iso 800, 55 mm

1/15, f5.0, iso 400, 39mm

Which one is your favorite?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Monday, September 20, 2010


Sorry I missed blogging yesterday.  Had a horrible headache that ended up in a trip to Urgent Care, and a shot to make the big owwies go away.  I promise to amaze you with the in's and outs of my life tomorrow.  Forgive me.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Saturday, September 18, 2010


 Six years ago today, I married not just The Hubs, but GG and LW.  I know that might sound a little strange, but I did.  This is OUR anniversary.  A day for all of us to celebrate becoming a family.

Six years ago today, we had our wedding.  We held it in our back yard, and had one of our very best friends officiate the service.  It was a beautiful sunset ceremony with all of our very closest friends and family in attendance.  The wedding itself was in three parts.

Part 1:  The Hubs and Me
"Where there has been cold, you have brought warmth.  Where my life was dark, you have brought light.  You have helped me to let go of the past, and embrace the future; And our miracle lies in the path we have chosen together.  I come to you with my eyes wide open.  I enter this marriage with you knowing that the true magic of our love is not to avoid changes, but to navigate them successfully.  Whatever lies ahead, good or bad, we will face together.  Distance may test us afor a time, and time may try us, but if we look to each other first, we will always see a friend.  Look to me for all the days to come; for today I take my place by your side. "

We even tied two cords together into a knot, signifying our binding.  We have it in our room.  I don't notice it every day since it's always just "there", but when I do, I remember why we're in this and it always makes me smile.

Part 2: Me and The Girls
Today you are my daughters.  No more contracts, no more negotiations, this time it's forever (that was an inside joke btw).  In the years to come, we will laugh together, cry together, fight together and share hope together.  And through it all, my love for you will never waiver.  I'm giving you this necklace (a three diamond drop necklace) as a symbol of my love and commitment to you, as well as this family.  Know that there will always be a place for you in my heart, is there room in your heart for me?

I told the girls before the ceremony, that no matter what happened, not to cry.  They didn't know this part was coming.  They didn't realize I was committing to them as well as to their dad.  They both cried, and so did I.  When they agreed to make room in their hearts for me, was one of the happiest moments of my life.

Part 3: Our Family
In the past, the rose was considered a symbol of love and a single rose always meant only one thing - it meant the words "I love you." So it is appropriate that for your first gift - as a new family - that gift would be a single rose.  Please exchange your first gift as a new family.  In some ways it seems like you have not done anything at all. Just a moment ago you were holding three small roses - and now you are holding three small roses. In some ways, a marriage ceremony is like this. In some ways, tomorrow is going to seem no different than yesterday. But in fact today, just now, you all have given and received one of the most valuable and precious gifts of life - one I hope you always remember - the gift of true and abiding love within the devotion of marriage.  I would ask that where ever you make your home in the future - whether it be a large and elegant home - or a small and graceful one - that you all pick one very special location for roses; so that on each anniversary of this truly wonderful occasion you both may take a rose to that spot both as a re-commitment to your family - and a re-commitment that THIS will be a marriage and family based upon love. 

And each year, on (or near if someone is away like when LW was away at college) our anniversary, we all come together as a family.  We give a rose to each member of our family, and say what the best part of having that person in our family was this past year.  Then we say what we're going to do in the coming year to keep our family strong and then light a candle, each in our turn.  As the Tweedles have come along, we've included them, bringing them into this family commitment so they understand our family as a unit.  There are no sides in this blended family.  No boundaries of his, hers or ours.  We're all in this together.

I know it sounds kinda corny.  I've been told it's very "Brady Bunch".  And while I can see that from their side,  I wouldn't change it one bit.  In a blended family, more than ever, we need to come together and remember why we're here, what we're doing this all for, and that each of us is loved.  I couldn't ask for a more perfect way to express this to each other.

Six years ago, I made a commitment to The Hubs, GG and LW.  Six years and two more kids later, I wouldn't change a thing.  I love you all.  Thank you so much for bringing me into your family, for loving me and making this journey the best of my life.

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Date Night

Tonight, is date night.  Up until GG came home and reminded me, I had completely forgotten that The Hubs and I had a hot date planned for tonight.  This is how rare date night actually is in my house.

Now, I know many of you will not consider what we have plans to do, as a "hot date".  In fact, most of you wouldn't consider it a "date" at all.  But I am a full fledged geek and have had many years to come to grips with my geek-ed-ness.

For example, I'm a web director and know lots and lots about web coding and data bases.  I also am a huge sci-fi fan.  I loved Star Wars, Star Trek, and Star Gate, as well as Firefly/Serenity, Babylon 5, and FarScape.  And I openly admit, that I've not only been to a sci-fi conventions, I've been to a Star Trek convention and got to see Scottie from Star Trek (albeit from afar) before he passed away.  I've never dressed up, so I don't consider myself a fanatic, but I do love all that stuff.

So don't laugh when I tell you, that tonight, The Hubs and I are heading to the local community college campus to see a JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratories - NASA) lecture on The Mars Laboratory: Search for Habitable Environments.  Hey!  I said don't laugh.  

This may not seem like a good date for a lot of people, but I expect this will be a great presentation, and I can't wait to spend a few hours with The Hubs, sans kids listening to it all. 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

PS.  Those boots, with the cuffs?  Yeah, they're growing on me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


I'm trying to think back to when I was a kid.  It's hard, because after having Bug and Bunny, my memory has gone the way of the dodo bird.  I'm trying to remember if I was a joiner.  I remember doing some sports (basketball and field hockey I think were the only two), and I was in several school plays/musicals.  I remember that for sure, and even if I forget, I have some video of exactly how bad we were back then.  Man we thought we were rockin' it, we were so wrong.  And don't even get me started on my hair!  But I digress.  I wasn't in the student council or in the spanish or chess club or anything like that.  And really, by the time I was in high school, I was pretty much over high school and all things high school related.  I just wanted to get into college and get on with my life already.  So I'm really surprised by my recent need to be a big joiner.

Now that Bunny is finally in Kinder, and at the school she will more than likely finish out her elementary school career in, I've found myself oddly more involved.  Last year, when she was in Pre-K, I already knew we wanted her to switch to the school she's in now.  So while I paid my PTA dues, I didn't actually go to a single meeting or do a single thing to try to be involved.  It's all different now. 

I went to my very first PTA meeting ever on Wednesday.  I never went to PTA meetings with the older girls because, to be honest, I felt like a bit of a fraud.  They have a mom, and that's not me.  And especially with LW, it was weird.  I would have been 14 when I gave birth to her.  So, what? I would have been 13 when she was conceived, if she had been my own bio child.  I got enough weird looks when I went to school events, I didn't need to explain myself to a room full of women that the older girls' mom likely already knew.  And as I said, they had a mom.  So while I'm an old hat at this parenting thing - Bunny is a few months away from being as old as GG was when I first came into her life - I'm brand spanking new with the PTA.

Everyone was super friendly and I think that's part of their evil plot to get you to join up for stuff.  They act all nice and sweet so you don't even notice when you're agreeing to stuff a million folders, or work tirelessly for hours on end at the latest fund raiser.  I think I might end up being the Executive VP.  What? Stop laughing! I can hear you.  Seriously, enough with the giggles! 

The position itself, doesn't require too much for now in the way of responsibility, but it lines me up to take over the position of PTA President in a year.  You're laughing again, aren't you?  Traitor!  

The current president is amazing, and I doubt I could live up to her legacy, but I'm willing to give it a whirl.  I like the idea of being really involved with the school, the teachers, the parents.  These are the people I'm going to spend the next 6 years with, at a minimum.  These are the people we're going to see every school day, at all of the school events, and at who's houses my kids are going to one day play.  I want to know who they are.  I want to help out the school any way I can, in hopes of creating an environment where Bunny, and Bug in his turn, can succeed.  This is their foundation after all, for the rest of their lives.  I know, I know, sounds totally cliche, but I really feel like it's true.  And honestly, they're only this little once, I don't want to miss anything.

But I'm not limiting my new joiner-ness to just the PTA, the DAR has taken up residence in my schedule for more than just the once a month meeting.  I joined because of my sister, but found I really like this group of ladies.  This nice and sweet thing gets me every time! 

I figure if I'm going to be part of the group, I want to really be part of the group.  I've currently joined a committee for an essay contest.  I made an announcement about the contest in my very first PTA meeting (worlds colliding much?), and had a great response.  I'm taking it a step further by contacting all the principals and as many teachers as I can, to get the school and therefor the kids involved.  How great would it be if I could help in the success of this contest?  I'm smiling just thinking about it.

And I doubt it will stop there.  I already have my eye on heading up the Juniors committee.  The Juniors being everyone in the group that is 36 or younger.  I also may have mentioned wanting to join the committee for the CAR (Children of the American Revolution) so that Bug and Bunny can participate too.   I have no idea what that might involve, but I'm sure they'll put my exceptional organizational skillz to good use.

My only worry, is that I might be over-extending myself just a teeny, tiny bit.  Between PTA, DAR, Swim Lessons (which we sign up for this Saturday), being Room Mom (oh, did I forget to mention I signed up to be the co-room mom for Bunny's class?), archery,  photography, the kid's church choir, my day job, my contract jobs and ya know, sleeping at some point, I might have over-done it just a little bit. 

But maybe not.  If nothing else, this will be a year for learning and growth.  I might have to let one or two things go, but for now, I seem to be holding it all together.  A PDA that I hope to acquire soon will help a lot towards keeping everything scheduled at least.

Wish me luck guys.  And I'll keep you all in the loop of this crazy ride as I go.  If nothing else, it will likely be worth a laugh or two. 

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

What? Huh?

This was not what I planned to post about today.  Seriously, I was going to put up some more photos from the first day of school, maybe talk about my very first PTA meeting.  And then I saw these.

They had me until the bottom.  Is this cuff a new style?  I'm so confused.  So I'll put it to you guys, fashion? Or what?

Seriously.. Thoughts

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

First Day of School

This is my favorite First Day of School photo.  Two of my big girls, doing the school thang.  Wow, can Bunny really be in kinder already?  Can GG be a JUNIOR?????!!!!????  Where did the time go?

Seriously.. Thoughts?

Don't Date This Girl!

This is a Public Service Announcement.  School is starting up again, and if you live in or near the LA area, please do not date this girl!

First of all, she's super annoying.  And you can read all about that here.

But mostly, it's because her Daddy is a former US Marine and Expert Rifleman.  Platoon Sniper in fact. I used to say "ex-Marine" but The Hubs has set me straight. There's no such thing as an "ex-Marine".  They just don't exist.  Apparently, once you're in the Corp, you're always in the Corp.  Even if you're not in the Corp anymore.  Cool, I confused myself and made a rhyme.  I love that! Back to reasons not to date this girl.

Although her Daddy doesn't currently own a firearm, he does own one of these.

And it shoots one of  these.

And I can guarantee you, this will hurt a lot as it goes ripping through your body.  And even more, when they have to pull it out!

But if that doesn't scare you off, and you still want to date this girl, please treat her kindly and with respect.  She may seem all cool and indifferent on the outside.

But deep down, she's a big 'ol jelly of girly mushy feelings.

And we hate to see her cry.  Ever.  And if you make her cry.

Well, God help you.

Seriously.... Thoughts?