Friday, December 10, 2010

The Last Weekend

The last weekend of this semester is upon me. One more weekend of hard work studying for my algebra final, some sacrifice (sorry Jil), and this semester will be finished. It is hard to believe how quickly time has flown. I really can’t think of a fall that has gone more quickly and winter seems to following suit.

One time years ago when I worked at the Credit Union, one of our members was talking about how quickly time was going for him as he grew older. His theory was that a year was a smaller percentage of his life making them feel like they passed more and more quickly. I hope on some level that he is wrong, because he is about 20 years older than I am and I don’t want time to go any faster than it is.

Not only is school filling my time and brain right now, but Christmas keeps poking its head in my thoughts to remind me that it’s just around the corner. Yikes!!! Packages to mail, cards to write, house to decorate, not to mention cookies to bake!

I do have my Christmas cookie list made and decided with Terran that we wouldn’t do as much baking this year. Right now the list is 9 cookies long and I don’t see how we can narrow it down any more than it has been at this point. The ones that are on the list are keepers, not one can be sacrificed. Everyone loves the espresso crinkles, I’ve always made Nanaimo bar and cant’ leave those off. My great-grandma’s buckeyes are a must and I really want to try the new ginger cookie recipe that has candied ginger pieces in it. We also are leaving so many yummy cookies off, peanut butter crunches, white chocolate raspberry cookies, and fudge. Do you see what I mean? Nine really are just a few of all the ones that sound good. I once heard moderation is the key…. I don’t think it is working.

Well, I need to go back to my final Friday studying for the year. That sounds good!


Friday, November 26, 2010

Children's Books Part 2

My Name Is Yoon
Written by Helen Recorvits and illustrated by Gail Swaitkowska

Summary: A young Korean girl has recently immigrated to the United States and is struggling to view herself through the English spelling of her name Yoon. She dislikes how it looks in English, it is not happy like her Korean spelling. The dislike of her English spelling is part of her homesickness for Korea and her fear of not making friends in her new home. Instead of writing her name at school she writes other words and imagines how her life would be if she were that word and not Yoon. In the end after making friends she accepts that she is Yoon in English, happy knowing it still means Shining Wisdom.

Why Read: My Name is Yoon has many good qualities to its story. It asks children to look at the world through an immigrant’s eye as they try to learn about the new place they are living. It draws attention to another language that does not use the English alphabet for its words while also focusing on English words and writing. The teacher is a kind supportive person that helps Yoon feel more at home and the other child that befriends Yoon also helps her like her new place. My Name is Yoon is a lovely story of a little girl finding a place in her new home.

The Tiger Has A Toothache: Helping Animals at the Zoo
Written by Patricia Lauber and illustrated by Mary Morgan

Summary: Animals at the Zoo get sick just like people. How do they get taken care of when they have colds, hurt teeth or broken bones? This book answers those questions and more. Each section is a couple pages long and follows one type of animal through their diagnosis, treatment and healing.

Why Read: This is an interesting book about some favorite zoo animals that kids can really enjoy. It brings a different perspective to the world of animals through the stories and colorful pictures. It is a fun read for thinking outside the animal box.

Written and illustrated by Mia Posada

Summary: Ladybugs is a nonfiction book that goes through the life cycle of ladybugs. Its brightly colored pages and simple explanations of what is happening make this a fun read for children.

Why Read: Ladybugs are easy to spot and fun to find. This book gives children more information about the little bugs that is easy for them to understand and really brings to life an important part of nature.

Library Lion
Written by Michelle Knudsen and illustrated by Kevin Hawkes

Summary: A lion walks into the library one day and loves story time. He quickly learns that certain rules of the library must be followed and strives to follow them. He befriends most of the patrons and the head librarian. To help his friend the librarian the lion one day breaks one of the library rules and leaves. After he is gone he is missed by all, especially the head librarian. The assistant librarian who didn’t care for a lion in the library sets out to find the libraries missing friend and bring him back.

Why Read: Library Lion shows that books are for everyone and the library is a fun place to be. Not only does it shine a bright light on books, but on friendship too. It tells us that friends take care of each other and that friends come in all different shapes and sizes. Also, who wouldn’t like being able to snuggle with a lion and read a good book at the same time?

Make Way For The Ducklings
Written and illustrated by Robert McCloskey

Summary: Mr. and Mrs. Mallard are looking for the perfect place to hatch their ducklings. They fly around Boston discarding different places until they happen upon the perfect island. After the ducklings hatch Mr. and Mrs. Mallard have quite the adventure trying to move their little family across the city to a spot with lots of peanuts to snack on and room to grow. With the help of a policeman the little duck family makes the journey safely.

Why Read: I like that this book values a duck family, a policeman is willing to help and make sure that this little family makes it to their destination. It is also fun to see the different people’s reaction to little family walking across the city. This story leaves one with a good feeling and smile.

Cuddle with someone small and read,


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You

by Diamond Rio

I like how this song draws attention to the foundation of our country and to the many freedoms that we have as Americans.

Thank you Veterans for defending our land and freedom,


Monday, November 08, 2010

Children's Books Part 1

I love children's book. I think that they are fun, imaginative and can open up whole worlds to children that they wouldn't know about otherwise. They can help children problem solve, understand relationships better and so much more. Also kids who like to listen to stories are more likely to enjoy reading and children who enjoy reading more often do better in school.

For my Early Childhood Education class we had to put together a list of our favorite 10 children's books and write a little about each book. This assignment was right up my alley, the hardest part, besides taking time to do the writing, was limiting the number of books to only 10.

Here are the first 5 I chose. I didn't do them in any favorite order, but ordered them by which ones I got first from the library. So there is nothing special about the order.

Vera Goes To The Dentist
Written and illustrated by Vera Rosenberry

Summary: Vera has her first appointment with the dentist and things are a little different than she expects. She ends up biting the dentist’s finger, running away and finally has her teeth cleaned after a second try in the dentist’s chair.

Why Read: Vera is such a real character from wearing her favorite skirt to feel strong and brave to her response of running away from her first dentist appointment. I like that Vera overcomes her fear and finishes her appointment with the dentist and finds that things were not as bad as she feared. Vera’s story shows that little people have big events in life.

Not Norman: A Goldfish Story
Written by Kelly Bennett and illustrated by Noah Z. Jones

Summary: Norman is a goldfish who was given as a gift to a little boy who really did not want a goldfish for a pet. After trying to trade Norman for another pet the little boy starts to realize just how special Norman is and decides to keep him.

Why Read: A fun story about how any pet can be special from the little boy’s point of view. This story can open up conversation about why kids think their pets are special and what kind of pet they would choose if given a chance.

Good Night, Gorilla
Written and illustrated by Peggy Rathmann

Summary: A zoo keeper tucks all the animals in to bed for the night at his zoo. He does not realize that a little gorilla is right behind him letting all the animals out so that they can sleep with the zoo keeper and his wife.

Why Read: This book does not have a lot of words and leaves a lot of the detail of the story up to the reader. It can be a very elaborate or simply told story depending on the reader. I like this book, because it has a lot of artistic detail and the children can tell you their own version of the story if they want to, thus “reading” a book.

Firefighters A to Z
Written and illustrated by Chris L. Demarest

Summary: Goes through the letters of the alphabet, matching each letter to some aspect of fighting fires.

Why Read: Children will enjoy this colorful and detailed booked about fighting fires, while hearing the letters of the alphabet, especially those children that like fire trucks. It brings attention to the need for team work and the bravery of those who fight fires for us.

Franklin's New Friend
Written by Paulette Bourgeouis and Illustrated by Brenda Clark

Summary: A new animal moves into Franklin the turtle’s part of the woods. Franklin when he first sees his new neighbors is scared of them, because they are Moose and very big. Franklin learns to not judge by what an animal looks like, but to accept them for who they are.

Why Read: The story of Franklin learning to overcome his fear and get to know his new neighbor and classmate is very sweet. The book brings attention to the fact it is not what someone looks like that matters and that we all can be friends with someone very different from us. The role that adults play in this book is very good too. They are not condescending or controlling, but offer sound advice to Franklin and try to help him have empathy for Moose, allowing Franklin to make his choice to reach out to Moose and be his friend on his own.

Go Forth and Read,


Monday, October 18, 2010

Slumber Party

We had a sleep over at our last weekend with our nephew Kaiser. It was his first sleep over and we had fun. He did such a great job being away from Mom and Dad, just playing and laughing the whole time. Such a delight to have a little person running around the place for an afternoon and evening.

While at our house the dogs and the dog crate were the favorite play things. I think the crate might have just had a slight edge over the bed owner.

Kaiser trying for the Great Escape on our hike, but Uncle Terran was just a little faster and caught him

Throwing sticks into the water for the dogs.

Kaiser was a big help to Uncle Terran pushing the stroller up the hill

Bugs are the best!

Tromping along like the big boy he is

Nothing like an after dinner milk

Nite-nite little buddy. Thank you for only getting Auntie out of bed during the night a few times. You did such a good job sleeping.

Auntie Naomi

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall's Arrival

Fall arrived this year with heat, our temperatures were in the high 80’s until the beginning of this month were they have slowly dropped to the 70’s we are experiencing now. I am so glad that summer didn’t leave us in a rush, taking her heat and sun with her. I wasn’t ready to see the end of summer this year, quite willing to keep the illusion of summer break even after school had started, through the heat. Yes, that is the reason I wasn’t ready to see summer leave, because it meant the start of school again. I so enjoy my classes and now that I am in them wouldn’t change what I’m doing, but struggled at the beginning giving up my days of freedom. I have to chuckle, because days of freedom for an adult are very different from children’s days of freedom. My freedom meant gardening, going through closets, canning, freezing meals, all those life details that are very nice to do without the pressure of homework and tests.

Thinking about this past summer along with life details it was dominated by three R’s. Reading, Running and Resting… each one is wonderful on its own and together, make for several lovely months of sunshine and fun. It is always interesting to me how at certain times different things dominate; there really is an ebb and flow to all things.

Now we are enjoying cooler mornings, midday hikes after homework and cool nights good for deep sleep.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday Snaptshot : Kaitlyn's Pal

Our niece Kaitlyn with Kaia when she was a puppy. Whenever Kaitlyn visits or we visit she and Kaia are inseparable. Kaitlyn is so sweet and prays every night for her furry friend.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Snapshot: Cute and Weird

CUTE: Bright eyed Kaia

WEIRD: Kojo the earless dog

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday Snapshot: Brothers

Terran and his brothers this past fall. Terran, Wes, and Arlin fell victim to No Shave November. Wade made a narrow escape from the whiskers.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Growing Memories

I was looking at my garden trying to decide where to start weeding (yes, I have so many weeds I need to pick a spot to start) this past week when I saw a little plant that is not a weed. It was a little watermelon plant tucked in among the onions growing quite happily. I was a little surprised at first, because we didn’t plant any watermelon this summer, but willing to accept the little guy. Then I started looking and watermelon plants were growing everywhere, under the tomato plants, next to the peppers, in the walk way, and with the weeds. How did this happen I wondered, looking around. We’ve never had a watermelon invasion before and I was stumped. Slowly it came back to me…a warm summer afternoon, people’s laughter, good natured teasing, and sweet juicy fruit.

My Mom and brother Ben came to stay at our house while Terran and I were on vacation in May and then stayed the next week with us. We had a lovely time with them and a watermelon seed spitting contest was part of the fun. We all lined up on the patio and spit the seeds into the garden as far as we could. None of us guessed that the seeds would germinate and grow into the baby plants that have claimed our garden as home.

These plants make me wonder what kind of seeds I plant in life. When the seeds I plant start to grow into plants and make themselves known do they bring a smile or frown? What kind of fruit do they bear? Sweet or tart?

Now these little watermelon plants probably won’t bear any physical fruit at all, because it’s late in the season, but they give me a smile every time I see them. Bringing me back the sweet memory of a time shared in laughter with family.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday Snapshot: Bird Nursery

Terran and I in May spent a week vacationing in New Mexico. It was a nice blend of camping and staying in hotels, giving us a bit of rustic and comfort.

One of the nights we stayed in a state camp ground that was a lovely surprise. We had SHOWERS, space to ourselves, and the cool desert night to aid us in sleep. What we hadn't counted on was the bird nursery right outside our tent. 4 am dawned with the screeches, squawks, and chirps that would have done a chicken farm proud. Unfortunately as the sky went from dark blue, to lighter hues of blue and pink our little winged alarm clocks only got louder declaring the day officially started.

After sleep's blurriness had left our eyes we watched the busy parents feed their never satisfied young. Flying back and forth from the nest in their effort to fill growing bellies. When the caffeine from morning coffee kicked in Terran and I agreed it was a wonderful start to the day.


Tuesday, July 06, 2010

July 4th Weekend

I hope everyone had a wonderful Independence Day weekend. Ours was brimming full with three BBQ's starting Friday evening and continuing over the weekend. We also made time for a 9 mile run/bike ride with friends, pie making, and a day to ourselves.

Turkey Flats, one of the most lovely spots we go during the summer. It stays cool and green the whole season making it perfect for a run and some biking this past weekend.

Resting after my run. While Terran and his biking buddies regal each other with their memorable trail moments. Turkey Flats is one of those trails that leaves you with plenty of stories.
Terran holding the new little girl of a friends at the family BBQ. We've known this little ones dad since he was a preteen and are feeling our age a seeing him as a husband and father.

Terran and I on a walk on "our day". I'm so glad after the fun and busy weekend that we set aside some time just for ourselves. Kojo and Kaia also enjoyed the time out playing in the water and wrestling for sticks.
Enjoying the moments,

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday Snapshot

This is our nephew Kaiser on his 1st birthday. He had a pirate themed party and loved his chocolate treasure chest with goodies. Personally, I think that he is the treasure, a very sweet treasure.
I'm hoping to make this Saturday snapshot a regular thing. We shall see...I just like being out and living life too much to always take time to write about it. :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

An Opportune Moment

We have ribs about to go on the grill and potatoes roasting in the oven. Our house is fairly picked up (if the doorbell rang right now I wouldn't be scurrying to hide the mess) and homework is pretty much done. I don't think a better moment to write is going to come along in the next couple weeks.

The news on the bugs is we never saw a one on Kaia or in the house after my frantic cleaning. Thank goodness!!!!

Major count down for the last day of school this semester has begun around here. I have two weeks of classes left and then two final days and I'm finished for the summer. To say I am ready is an understatement. I am VERY, VERY ready to be on my own time again. I don't have a bunch of classes, but our life is a little busier this semester and hasn't had a good flow. Signs of summer break coming... a summer reading list under my math book, a couple races on the calender to train for, a vacation the end of May, and a garden tilled and waiting for more then just spinach and lettuce to be planted.

Times like this when I'm waiting for the end of something and to finish well is going to take time and work. I always think of Paul writing about running the good race. So much of the race is how we finish when we're tired and the end is almost in sight. I want to be a good runner whether in school or running some other race in life.

Sorry to go all serious. I guess it reflects my mindset right now.

Counting the days,


Saturday, March 13, 2010


I had not planned on waiting so long before I posted and was all geared up to share stories and pictures, but my plan A fell to the wayside. I got sick, had a couple big tests, and then left for a visit with my family. Now here I am a couple weeks later with the last days of my Spring break slipping away under piles of laundry and baths for the dogs.

I know….sounds like lame reasons for not writing more, but we have a time sensitive issue. Kaia when hiking this past week got into some bugs and now has bites. At least we think they are bites and being myself, this means that ALL the bedding must be washed (even though the dogs are not allowed on the beds or furniture), the dogs bathed, and every bit of carpet vacuumed. The thought of bugs in my house is awful to me and the thought of bugs on my cute little dogs is almost as horrifying. I am on the WAR path and no insect shall prevail!

Wish me luck,


Sunday, February 21, 2010

A New Beginning

After months of silence I have decided that I needed a blog face lift and a fresh start. This cloudy, snowy day while Russia beats the Czech Republic in Olympic Ice Hockey is as good a time as any. So here I am to see if there are any readers left and if there aren't to share anyway, because I feel the need to send my voice into cyberspace.

I'm going to post this so I can admire my new look with a current post on it,