Friday, February 26, 2010

Year of the Hike

Last year, it was "Year of Discoveries". We checked out lots of fun new places. This year it is "Year of the Hike". We are going to try to do a hike every month. Yosemite is on our list this year. Where we live there are little trails everywhere. We went on a short hike this past weekend with some new friends that we made.
We found this hike around the same time we moved here. We were just driving around exploring the area and found a really cool park and beyond the park, a small trail that led into the hills.

There are cows grazing everywhere and they were actually on the trail when we first began the hike. We picked a rather cold day to go. I guess cold compared to the 68 degree weather we had during the week.


It was a short hike 1 mile each way. We want to ease our kids into the hiking bit. We also need to invest in one of those baby backpack carriers. Miss Zoey, a healthy chunk, will not be fitting into her baby bjorn much longer.


The view was spectacular, and the kids did pretty good. They complained mostly about how cold it was, not about how long it was, so that's a good thing. I think one of the fun parts of the hike was watching out for the horse poo along the way. It was almost a game. I guess a stinky game.


Fun, fun, fun! I can't wait to see what's next on our list. I hear there is a cool hike to some waterfalls on Mt. Diablo. By the way, this comment is for Ben's family. We found out where to get to the free side of Mt. Diablo. I wonder if it's better over there?



Sunday, February 21, 2010

Extra, Extra, Extra


I had some EXTRA fondant and cake leftover from Ben's Valentine gift so I decided to let the kids make their own creations. I gave them cookie cutters and they went to town!


I think Mia was sent to our family with EXTRA personality. She is such a funny girl. She told Ben tonight,"I like to create things. I like to create things that are different from what everyone else creates. People don't know I create things. My friends don't see it because I never have sleepovers. . ." We recently got a futon for our office room and Mia calls it the "Yoda". She says funny stuff like that all day.


Xander has EXTRA cuteness. He's the little man that will steal your heart away with just one smile. I'll find him quite often on my lap and wonder how he snuck his way there in the first place. Then, he'll look and me and smile and say, "We're best friends." He loves to "pretend read" books and I absolutely love that he trys to copy his big sisters. He'll come up with a plan and say, "That a good idea?" Lots of times, he'll wake up in the middle of the night needing a drink. After getting his drink, no matter how out of it he is, he'll say, "A thank you." Could he get any cuter?


CJ is oozing with EXTRA thoughtfulness. Quite often, I will find a note from CJ on my nightstand. The other day, I found a cute Valentine from CJ and it was such a nice surprise. If I need a hug, I'll open my arms and CJ will be there. If I need some help, I'll turn around and CJ is there saving the day.

Cooking is something that CJ and I like to do together, if we get a chance. Most times, Xander beats her to it. My parents taught me how to cook when I was a kid and I have always been grateful for that skill.


And I couldn't forget Zoey whose teething has left me in need of EXTRA sleep, but really, I can't complain. She makes up for it with her EXTRA special smiles that I am greeted with whenever I get her up from a nap or whenever I talk to her or even look at her for that matter. Smiles, laughter, and more smiles. Such a happy baby!

I'm EXTRA lucky to have these kids!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Neatest People


Meet Grandpa and Grandma Porter. They are some of the neatest people you will ever meet. Genuine, thoughtful, and loving are just a few words that describe them. They flew into California to spend sometime with their daughter and took the time to drive 2 hours to come visit us! I know that they do this for all of their grandchildren, but I can't but help feel special.


They are the type of people that you hope to be like someday. The kids loved that they came to visit and were even asking the day after about when they were going to come visit us again!


Ben's Aunt Patricia and cousin Mark also came. I really like their family. We've visited them a few times and have always had so much fun with them.


It's true that when you marry someone that you marry their family. I feel so lucky and blessed that Ben has an extraordinary family.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Yay! For Val-Day!

Dear Marketing Companies,
We will not give in to the overpriced flowers and ridiculus amounts of chocolate that you offer for this holiday, no matter how delicious your make it look. Ha! Ha! (that is an evil laugh)

Instead, we will make gifts from the heart.

Thank you.

I love the idea of making something for each other for Valentine's Day! I also love the homemade "Ben" cards that I get. Here's this years. If you slowly slide it out, there are several messages along the way.


And then it opens up with cute pictures of my kids.

My gift to Ben was super fun to make. I had originally wanted to make a tie for him. He had been complaining that he doesn't have any fun ties. I couldn't find the material that I needed so I came up with this:


Super fun. Check out my other blog if you want info on how to make one.

Yay! Is all I have to say. After last years disappointment, I'm glad that this one actually turned out.


Wednesday, February 10, 2010


It amazes me how I can watch my kids, as different as they are, go through some of the same stages as a child.

Take for instance the "Bobble Head" stage. I think it begins when they are babies and continues to toddlerhood. Xander still bobbles when he gets really excited.

Here's Zoey demonstrating this stage.

It gets really hard when you are trying to feed a child during the "bobble head" stage. I bet whoever invented "bobble heads" was watching their child one day bobbling their head nonstop and thought, "Hey, this is entertaining. What if the heads of toys bobbled? I could get rich." The rest is history.

How about the "Paper Cutting" stage? This is my house about 24/7. There is paper everywhere because Xander has learned how to use scissors quite successfully. The tree huggers are going to be barging down my door because of all of the trees we kill daily.

I also noticed in his pants today in both knees, cuts from scissors. I threatened that I would take his beloved scissors away if he ever cut his clothes again. I hope I was scary enough. I remember CJ cutting her hair.

Mia does her fair share of the paper mess. Here's some more of Mia's paper creations.

I think my favorite is watching my kids go through all sorts of the language stages. I love watching them progress. Right now I hear from Xander, "Him, not in my class" "Her, nice to me." or the saying, "I can't know how" that I have heard everyone of my kids say, of course, the ones who can speak.

Zoey doesn't talk yet, but she sure makes sounds just like all of my other ones.

Mia cracks me on her interpretation of things. CJ is in a play about the American Revolution and Mia knows pretty much all of her lines.

Line: What about the Boston Massacre?
Mia: What about the Boston Millers?
Line: They shot and killed three unarmed colonist.
Mia: They shot and killed three unarmed killers.

Kids are so fun to watch. Don't ya think?