Sunday, August 30, 2009

San Francisco

Eric and I took a trip to San Francisco this weekend to attend the wedding of my college roommate. We drove up on Friday night. That gave us a bit of time to meander around town on Saturday morning before the wedding. We headed to Golden Gate Park for a bit.

Eric in front of the Flower Conservatory in Golden Gate Park. Very pretty.

There were many pretty flowers and plants inside the conservatory. We didn't plan on going here, but thought it looked interesting, so we headed inside.

The building was very tall. The pretty stained glass threw color all around the room.

Pretty gardens outside of the conservatory.

Me in front of the De Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. I am hoping to take my class to see the King Tut exhibit that is there this year. No, we didn't go in. I didn't feel like spending the money on the tickets. I'll see it with my class.

Heather and me after she just got married! Heather and I lived on the same floor in the dorm our freshman year at UC Davis. We shared a room in an apartment our sophomore year. Then I moved home to go to Fresno State.

Beautiful bride.

View from our balcony on the 8th floor into the atrium of the hotel. It was fun to stand there and watch people below.

Looking straight across from our room. I really liked the look of this hotel.

This is what happens when you are a foot shorter than your husband and try to take a self-portrait of the two of you. The husband has his head chopped off in the photo!

We thoroughly enjoyed being alone together for two days. We missed the kids, but it was good to be away together.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One is sick, the other is cranky

I had to bring Evan home at 11 this morning. I left school and took him to the doctor because of a fever and throwing up. The child literally wailed and cried for Daddy all afternoon. This child is so attached to Eric.

The other kid isn't sick (we think he's the one who started the bug), but he's cranky and not sleeping well. He was up until past 9 tonight screaming and yelling from his crib.

Deep breath. It's only the 3rd day of school. There's a whole year of ups and downs to get through.

And I am working pretty hard to keep up with the new grade. They are fun to teach. I am enjoying the kids. It's just different and feels so foreign.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Be a Man

After school today Evan was in my classroom for a bit. He was "reading" books, taking notes on paper, and acting all grown up. I told him just that.

He told me he had to do this stuff so he could get to school. I said, "You made it. You're in school."

Then he told me that he had to do this stuff to be a man! I asked him what he meant.

"I have to read and get a job so I can be a man," he said.

What a difference between PreK and Kindergarten! My little man!

1st Day of Kindergarten

Today was Evan's first day of kindergarten. It's hard to believe it is actually here. I have been waiting so long for him to be going to school with me. I think he looks older today than he did yesterday!

Getting ready. Hair isn't done yet. Two days ago he didn't know how to put on his underwear...or so he told me. Today he insisted on getting completely ready by himself.

All ready to go. Evan has on his new shoes which "help him run soooo fast because they stick to the grass."

He looks like he's saying, "Oh my aching head." But really, he's just trying to be cute. He does these weird poses for the camera. It's bizarre.

See? He looks older! It must be the uniform.

Me and my boys.

Evan's home for the next nine years!

Parents weren't allowed to go in the classroom, so we gave our hugs and kisses out on the blacktop. That is Evan's teacher, Mrs. Clark.

Walking in line to morning prayer.

After school hanging out in my classroom. The ears are Clifford the Big Red Dog.

We went to In-n-Out to celebrate the first day of school. (That and I forgot to put the meat from the sink in the frig, so it had been sitting out since last night. Oops.) Then we came home and did homework. Evan was quite serious about doing REAL homework.

All in all, I think he had a great day.

What a Deal!

This just might be my best deal yet since I started using coupons and deals a little over a week ago.

I spent just $7.24 on all of the items shown above at CVS new favorite store! Two boxes of Fruit Loops, two boxes of fruit snacks, four boxes of Macaroni & Cheese (name brand even!), two Glade Air Freshener Starter Kits, and two mascaras. I used several coupons to make this great deal happen.

And the best part of all? I earned $7 in Extra Care Bucks to be used on future purchases! So you could sort of say I only spent 24 cents! I think that is a good deal all the way around!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Eye Doctor

Evan had his first visit to the eye doctor on Saturday. He and Eric had their appointments together, so Evan got to spend some special time with Dad. I got to enjoy Hudson by myself at home.

Evan did a great job reading the eye chart. He has superb vision. He was disappointed because he wanted glasses!

No Promises

I am sorry little blog, but I make no promises about the amount of updating you will be receiving in the next few weeks. Things are about to get very, very hectic.

I will do my best. We may have to stick to single pictures and captions to get us through.

Evan is going to start kindergarten tomorrow, so I'm sure there will be an update about that, but beyond tomorrow, I just don't know.

Faithful readers...I will try not to have pity party posts about how busy I am. Hang with me until Thanksgiving!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Getting Busy

Not like that you dirty minded people! Life is getting busy. I am finishing up preparations in my classroom to be ready for Monday. New classroom and new grade. New stress!

My posting usually drops off a bit during the year due to the fact that we are out of the house and working most of the day. However, it is a goal to continue to keep up with the massively interesting things that we do and share it for the world to read.

I'll do my best.

Peanut: I can't believe he is about to start kindergarten. I am thrilled that he'll be at my school. I am so excited for him. Now he just needs to knock off the sassiness he's been sharing with us lately. He was put to bed early and without his blanket tonight due to his smart little mouth.

Chicken: Has started talking and saying words spontaneously rather than copying what we are saying. He also has a sudden independent streak. In the past two days he has insisted on putting on his own sandals, climbing into the car by himself, and he even wants to put on his own seatbelt. We are understanding him when he says he wants something. I see a very faint light at the end of that stinkin' long tunnel!

Eric: Working hard. He's always working hard. He's the glue that holds us all together. He's the one who will scrape me off the sidewalk when I have my annual Fall Meltdown. He's the one who will need me to be strong at the end of September.

Heather: Working hard. Trying to keep my head above water. As if that wasn't enough, I signed up to run a 5K for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on Oct. 24 at Fresno State. It's to raise money for breast cancer research. Once I get my Race Page designed, I'll dedicate a post all about it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Hudson can say the word popsicle. He loves them, as does his brother. When Evan asks for a popsicle and I say yes, Hudson will chant, "Yay!"

Even though school is starting and it should be cooling off for fall, our summer out here in CA is definitely not over. We've still got a lot of popsicle eating time left to enjoy.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Today started my journey back into the world of being tired. It was my first day back to work. Luckily there are only teachers there this week. I tell ya, this whole teaching thing would be sooooo easy if the kids stayed home everyday! I am the BEST and most organized teacher when I am alone in my classroom!

It's a good thing we have a week to "practice" getting up early (5:30) and getting out the door early (7:15). Evan and Hudson have had a leisurely summer of slumbering until at least 7. Many mornings I wished and prayed that they'd sleep longer, but now I am poking their little butts awake at 6:30. Poor babies.

We've been having trouble with Hudson going to sleep at night. Maybe getting up early and getting back into the routine will help him get to sleep better.

Anyhow, today was a classroom prep day. I am busy getting my new 7th grade classroom in order. I'll be teaching 7th grade and 8th grade Social Studies and Science.

Tomorrow and Wednesday we have meetings all day. My feet hurt, and I'm tired. I'm sure I'll catch up on sleep next June.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


My mom has long been a savvy coupon shopper. I grew up listening to her tell tales of getting this or that for only a penny. I thought it was neat, but didn't quite understand her excitement. I get it now! This is like a fun game to see how low I can get the prices!

Last weekend I was visiting my cousin, Michelle, who should probably be my mother's daughter. They both love this whole coupon business. Listening to Michelle was reminding me of my mom go on about her great deals.

Needless to say, Michelle is quite passionate about her coupon shopping and even has two cute little coupon file folders. I started thinking that this was something I could probably do and should probably do.

Yesterday we went to OfficeMax, and I bought a very cute little coupon holder. Unfortunately they only had one. Must be a run on people getting into this coupon habit. I want two file holders: one for food and one for non-food ('cause this is how Michelle does it!).

I love my little coupon organizer.

I am proud to show off my first coupon shopping receipt! It's a little hard to read, but I saved $48.94 by using my Vons club card, and I saved $27.71 with coupons! Wow! I took almost $28 off my bill by using coupons! That is just mind boggling to me! (Sorry about all the exclamation points, but I am really excited!)

There is something so great about having a pantry filled with food. It gives me that warm and fuzzy feeling knowing I can pull items out of the pantry, frig, and freezer and create meals for my family. I also had to purge the pantry of expired stuff to make room for my purchases.

The one thing that is a little different for me is buying several items at a time to get the low prices. That is okay though. For example, I bought four boxes of Cheerios, but I got them each for $1.25. I also bought six boxes of fruit snacks for less than $1 a box. Wow! Those suckers are expensive. I never think twice when I buy one box for $2.50, but I'd never buy six at a time at that price. Now we'll have enough fruit snacks to last for a while.

Thank you to Michelle who gave me many tips to get started. And thank you to Mom who was the original coupon queen! You have taught me to be thrifty from the start.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Future Doctor?

The child insisted on wearing the stethoscope upside down on his head. Maybe when he gets to medical school, they'll teach him the right way to wear it!

An Almost Kindergartener

Today was Evan's Kindergarten Visit day. It was the day to officially meet Mrs. Clark, check out the classroom, and pick out a cubby. Peanut will be a true kindergarten student on Monday, Aug. 24.

Evan has been with me many days at school this summer, so he already knows the campus, the office, the kindergarten classroom, and he has met his teacher several times. However, today was the official day, so it was a big deal! Evan's classroom looks fantastic, and I know he is going to learn so much this year.

Picking out his name tag while Mrs. Clark watches.

Choosing a cubby on the bottom row.

Painting his first kindergarten picture. He said it was a picture of a drawer and of himself. Who knows what that means.

Creating some pretty cool structures with the blocks.

Hudson had fun as well. He was quite intrigued with the magnetic stick and marbles.

Mrs. Clark was my long-term sub when I was on maternity leave with Hudson. She also used to teach kindergarten at OLPH before I was a teacher at the school. We are very excited to have her as Evan's teacher!

Friday, August 14, 2009


Last night was McTeacher night for my school. This means that we try to get lots of people to eat at McDonald's because we get a portion of the proceeds.

Evan's kindergarten teacher was there with her daughter. R and Evan were sitting near each other. I got a kick out of their "conversation."

R: I got this little bag in my Happy Meal. I like this little toy. It has a pink handle on it. Pink is my favorite color. What is your favorite color?

Evan: Blue.


I was cracking up! R is an adorable little girl who talks a mile a minute. She entertained me by showing me her watch that had the time and the ABC's. She was very willing to chatter about her 5-year-old life. And my child apparently only has the ability to speak in one word fragments.

The differences between little boys and little girls!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


This post is for Cousin Carol who was anxiously awaiting pictures of our visit to Cousin Michelle's house!

Eric had to work on Friday, so he borrowed his nephew's car while I drove over to see my cousin. The last time I saw Michelle and her family was right before Eric and I got married...over six years ago! It was great catching up with her, watching the kids play, and laughing, laughing, laughing!

Michelle had just had sinus surgery the day before, but she assured me that she was feeling well enough to have us there for the entire day!

I didn't get many shots of Michelle, but here she is at the microwave! She made us the best margaritas ever with frozen lime-aid mixed in. Yum!

Michelle's kiddos, Nick and Sami, were great at keeping Evan and Hudson entertained. My kids felt right at home and wandered up the stairs to start playing shortly after we walked in the door! Here Sami is chasing Hudson back up the driveway.

The kids playing in the garage.

Who needs to use the sliding glass door when you can just scoot out the little tiny door near the floor?

Hudson fell down, and Michelle rescued him. This kid was filthy dirty by the end of the day and loving every minute of it.

Ever since I was a little girl I have looked up to and admired my cousin. She was 16 when I was 10. I thought she was so glamorous and pretty. And the fact that she lived in Southern California while I grew up in Cow Town meant that she was so much more wise and cool.

Many years later I still look up to my cousin, but for different reasons. I admire how she has raised her children, I admire how she works at a job she enjoys, loves her husband, and keeps her household running smoothly. She is a no-nonsense gal and is the bargain and coupon shopping queen. These are all the things I strive to do in my life. I need to work at being a better coupon shopper. But just like when I was a little girl and thought my cousin was "totally cool," well, that hasn't changed!

Love you lots Michelle! Thank you for putting up with us all day long!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Annual Train Ride

I had to squeeze in our annual train ride down to Hanford before summer came to a screeching halt. Evan and I had a busy day together doing a little school stuff and then zooming downtown to catch the train.

This is our third year in a row taking the train to Hanford to have lunch with Eric. Usually we hang with him for the afternoon, and he drives us back to town. Today, however, Eric needed to get some things done, and I needed to get back into town for a school meeting. So, this is the first time that Evan and I caught the train in Hanford to head back to Fresno.

And no, Chicken didn't get to come. It's crazy enough keeping track of Evan. I am a glutton for punishment at times, but I'm not crazy enough to take a not-yet-two-year-old and the almost five-year-old on the train at the same time by myself. Hudson got to see Hanford earlier this summer, so I don't feel too guilty. Maybe just a little guilt. But still not enough to have included him this summer. Sorry Hudson. Mommy still loves you!

Waiting to catch the train in Fresno.

This will be the only photo of me being shared in today's post. Evan took some very unflattering shots of me from some very wacky angles. No need to scare people.

Okay, so I lied. Here is a lovely shot of my arm. Evan is such a good photographer. I've been working out. Can you tell?

About to catch the train from Fresno.

Evan is trying to hold his eyes open against the glare of the sun.

Finally on the train and heading towards Hanford. We rode backwards on the trip.

Just getting off the train at the Hanford station. Doesn't he look thrilled to be in the town known for it's sulfur water?

Eric came and picked us up, and we enjoyed a relaxing lunch at Chili's where we bought bottled water to avoid drinking the sulfur stuff! (It killed me to buy bottled water at a restaurant, but Hanford water is just ick.) Evan and I spent a bit of time at the Hanford library before it was time to catch the train to go back home.

The train was a bit more crowded on the return trip, so Evan ended up falling asleep while sitting on my lap. If I hadn't been afraid of missing our stop, I just might have let the train rock me to sleep as well!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy 1/2

Today is my half birthday! Happy half birthday to me! On February 11, I fully expect cake and presents!

Funny thing, though. Every time I mentioned to random strangers that it was my half birthday today, they just gave me a blank stare. So much for spreading sunshine and happiness on my 1/2 special day!

P.S. I had to add an extra snippet to the story. I told Evan it was my half birthday this morning. I had to explain exactly what that meant, and then we headed out the door. Later this evening Evan suddenly asks me in a very serious and yet politely interested voice, "So Mom, how was your half birthday today?" It was hilarious! I never figured he'd remember much less politely and maturely inquire about my super special day! Now why can he remember a random fact like my half birthday, but he can't remember me telling him to put his underwear in the hamper? I'll never understand.

Reagan Library

Before we headed home from our little vacation, we decided to stop and visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. It is in Simi Valley, which is only about 10 minutes from where we were staying at my SIL and BIL's house. Every time we go down to Southern CA for a visit we have said that we need to go, but never made it before this past weekend.

I enjoyed the tour very much, but I'd like to go again with just Eric. We weren't able to read very much. Due to the kids, we mainly zoomed through and just looked at the exhibits. Air Force One was a huge hit with Evan.

We don't use our stroller very much, but Hudson sure knew it was his ride. He hopped right in once we pulled it out of the car.

Air Force One. This is actually towards the end of the tour. We didn't get many pictures of the rest of the exhibits because you can't use the flash. Eric couldn't get the flash to stay down, so we opted not to take photos and instead stay out of trouble!

We were able to enter AF1 along that big ramp that you see over by the windows. No photos were allowed inside. It was really neat to step inside the plane and see how it was outfitted for presidential travel. Air Force One planes are now much larger. I think even more impressive than being inside the plane was seeing the plane sitting inside a building! The entire north wall was a bank of windows. The view outside was breathtaking.

Limos have changed a bit since the 80's.

Marine One

Goofy child striking a model pose.

Such pretty views overlooking Simi Valley and beyond.

After the museum we went to lunch, and then we headed home. I haven't posted pictures of my day with my cousin because they are on Eric's laptop computer. Hopefully tomorrow I can get those posted.