Monday, June 29, 2009


This is our side yard:

It's about 30' x 14' . Not big, but also larger than most side yards in the area.
We are trying to figure out what to do with it. Here's where we are so far:

-Rock it? PROBLEM! We have such a small backyard that I really want to make the most of every bit of yard we do have.

-Trampoline? PROBLEM! I'm too worried that someone will get hurt. Plus, I don't want to have a toy that needs a tons of supervision. That would ruin the whole point of a yard!

-Fort/Play structure? PROBLEM! We took the boys to a play structure sales center, and they were done playing on the forts within about 15 mins. I'm not about to spend that kind of cash on something they got bored with at the store!

-Garden? PROBLEM! We really want the space for the boys to play. Plus, my dad has such a yummy garden, it's almost not worth doing one ourselves.

-Giant Sandbox? PROBLEM! I'm not so convinced that the big boys would play in it, plus I'm worried about the mess of it all.

-Grass? PROBLEM! We already have a good stretch of grass in the back. I don't think more grass buys us anything new.

-Big Boulders/ Rock Garden? PROBLEM! Would they play on the rocks? Commune with nature? Or would it become purely decorative? (Not such a bad thing, but not really what we are going for either.

Help! Am I missing something? Is there an answer just beyond my reach? Am I not properly evaluating the ideas we have come up with? Please, I need help!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


I think I need a bigger calendar. Those little squares just aren't working for us any more.

Using up all the extra, empty square's around the calendar? Yeah, I need to supersize.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wacko Jacko

The original Michael Jackson:
-Totally cool: I remember going to a Michael Jackson themed birthday party in 5th grade. I admit to, once, wearing one sparkly glove. And I can still do a mean moonwalk.
-Incredibly talented: How can you doubt the talent of the man? Billie Jean? Beat It? We are the World? And he could really dance! I still remember staying up late on New Years Eve 1983 to watch the Thriller video on MTV. He certainly earned the title "King of Pop."

The recent Michael Jackson:
-WAY Bizarre: His Neverland with the zoo? Is he black? Is he white? All those surgeries?What's with naming all your children Michael? (Prince Michael I, Paris Michael and Prince Michael II - aka Blanket???)
-So super creepy: Sleepovers? With young boys? When I think too much about it all I begin to feel nauseous!

I think it all started to fall apart when be began grabbing himself while dancing. It was only downhill from there. Thing of it is, I'm really bugged by the all accolades being poured on the man. Celine Dion was on the TV saying how he was her hero. Really? THAT'S what you come up with for a hero? I don't mean to speak ill of the dead, but there is a part of me that wants to throw a little party for all the young boys living in the Los Angles area.

Ultimately, I don't care how talented he was, or how cool he was when I was in 5th grade. Maybe I'm being too judgemental. After all, I wasn't with him, in his bedroom, wearing clothes picked out from his special "dress up" box (all of which he admitted to.)

I'm too bogged down by the bizarre person he became. I don't think just because he died, he gets a pass on of his creepiness. I guess I'll just grit my teeth over the next few days when I hear over and over again about how great Wacko Jacko was. Grrrr!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer's Schedule

Over the years I have discovered that we are ALL a lot happier over summer break when there is a bit of a schedule in place. We don't adhere to it with any kind of rigidity, but it helps frame the day a bit, and seems to at least slow down the "I'm bored!" and lessens the TV/Wii time. We try to mix in learning, chores and fun. So here goes:

Every day: 30 mins. of reading, 2-3 pages of math workbook, pick up bedroom.
Monday: Vacuum the house. Trip to $1 Store.
Tuesday: Clean the kitchen. Ice-cream or Sonic
Wednesday: Dust the house. Bake something.
Thursday: Clean windows & Powder room. Movie.
Friday: Clean upstairs bathrooms. Random Fun Thing. (Diamond often gets Friday afternoons off in the summer, so we wanted to leave the day open.)

Nothing is written in stone. Today (Monday) the boys opted for the swimming instead of the $1 Store. No worries. They still vacuumed and did math before we went to the pool. And of course there are lots of play dates mixed in, and Scout camp, and trips to the library, and swim lessons, and tutoring with my mom...

What do you do to make summer work? We still have most of the summer ahead of us, and I'm open to revision.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Froliking in Florida

Our trip to Florida got off to a great start when the pilot allowed the boys to sit up front and even push one of the control buttons! (Since BB#1 wants to be a pilot when he grows up, he LOVED this!)

One of the highlights of our hotel was this balcony which overlooked the ocean. We would sit outside to read, eat, and talk. But I think the best part was falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.

When the Caboose needed a nap, Nanna would take him up and sit out on the balcony while he slept, so we were able to stay out with big boys.

One of the downsides of the trip was a complete dearth of good waves. Nonetheless, Diamond made a great effort to teach the boys how to boogie board on what little waves there were. For beginners, they were able to get in some decent rides.

Big Boy #1 catching a wave.

Then he told me "I'm practicing my wipe-outs!"

Big Boy #1

There was time spent building in the sand.

A good chunk of the trip was spend floating on the water. Grandpa was great about getting out with the boys and they loved it.

Ganelle also had some time floating on the ocean. Sooo relaxing! (Of course having my cell phone turned off for the bulk of the vacation sure helped with that whole "relaxed" feeling!)

Some locals at a Surf Shop encouraged us to check out Bathtub Beach. It was only about ten minutes from the hotel and boasted a reef complete with all kinds of fish and lots of shallow water for little ones. It was one of our favorite spots and we went almost every day.

Bathtub beach was a great place for Nanna to teach the big boys how to snorkel. It was so shallow that they could simply stand up if they got water in their masks/snorkel.

While the snorkeling was nothing like the Caribbean, there were still several varieties of fish - some even as big as a foot long. They boys were fascinated by the world beneath the water and spend hours snorkeling the reef looking for fish, or along the shore looking for shells.

Big Boy #2 looking over his collection of shells gathered while snorkeling at Bathtub Beach.

With water so shallow at Bathtub, Diamond got everyone involved in a game of Frisbee.

I spent just about every summer as a child along the Atlantic Coast. It was so cool to bring my boys to the Ocean to enjoy the kind of beach trip I had loved as a kid. We played in water in the day, played games at night and spent a ton of time together as a family. It was perfect.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Family Photos

While we were in Florida we tried to take some family pictures. Nothing fancy, we just used my point and shot camera. I did want to frame some of them. So, here are my favorites. I haven't done much editing yet, but which do you like the best?

Here are some of just the boys. Again, which is your favorite?

We also did a few individual shots.

Big Boy #2

Big Boy #1

The Caboose