Saturday, December 31, 2011

Au Revoir 2011 don't let the door hit ya in the butt

Tonight is a very good night. Yes a very good night indeed. 2011 kicked my butt, and I have lived to tell or not tell as the case may be with the lack of posting to this blog.

In a nutshell 2011 will be the year of:
Thyroid Cancer Cleft Surgery
Four kids 2 different schools
Commuting for the first time in 11 years
Going back to work for someone else
Juggling two jobs
Paying off taxes - yuck!
Old car issues
Old house issues Starting the process of moving
Ending the process of moving
Finishing my graduate program at Stanford University- FINALLY after many years!!!

Needless to say, I survived and more importantly, those around me survived. I am looking very forward to 2012. Something about the sound of it. Or maybe it is as simple as I think even numbers. Regardless I'm happy to start the new year and as always the promise of change it brings.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Cleft Affected Children - A documentary and how you can help


Gwapa, meaning beautiful in Visayan, is the fitting title of this vibrant, real-life story that follow two Filipino families and their struggle for a healthy future. Every year, 4,000 - 5,000 Filipino children are born with cleft lip, cleft palate, or both. Cleft lip and palate are two the most common and curable of birth defects. Sadly, most clefts go unrepaired in developing countries. Just one surgery can change a child's life forever. Gwapa (Beautiful) is Thirsty Girl Films' first feature length documentary dedicated bringing awareness to the high number of children born with cleft deformities in the Philippines and the great need for free reconstructive surgeries among the Filipino islands. This stunning and remarkable film will draw you into a powerful tale of strength, love, determination, and hope.

http://www.indiegogo.com/Gwapa-Film


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wise Words for Trying Times

Moshe ben Maimon (1135-1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician and philosopher. He is most commonly known by his Greek name, Moses Maimonides (or more formally Rabbi Moses ben Maimonides), and subsequently many Jewish works refer to him by the acronym of his title and name, RaMBaM or Rambam.

According to Rambam, there are eight levels of charity, each greater than the next.

[1] The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others.

[2] A lesser level of charity is to give to the poor without knowing to whom one gives, and without the recipient knowing from whom he received. For this is performing a mitzvah solely for the sake of Heaven. This is like the “anonymous fund” that was in the Holy Temple [in Jerusalem]. There the righteous gave in secret, and the good poor profited in secret. Giving to a charity fund is similar to this mode of charity, though one should not contribute to a charity fund unless one knows that the person appointed over the fund is trustworthy and wise and a proper administrator, like Rabbi Hananya ben Teradyon.

[3] A lesser level of charity is when one knows to whom one gives, but the recipient does not know his benefactor. The greatest sages used to walk about in secret and put coins in the doors of the poor. It is worthy and truly good to do this if those who are responsible for distributing charity are not trustworthy.

[4] A lesser level of charity is when one does not know to whom one gives, but the poor person does know his benefactor. The greatest sages used to tie coins into their robes and throw them behind their backs, and the poor would come up and pick the coins out of their robes so that they would not be ashamed.

[5] A lesser level of charity is when one gives to the poor person directly into his hand, but gives before being asked.

[6] A lesser level of charity is when one gives to the poor person after being asked.

[7] A lesser level of charity is when one gives inadequately, but gives gladly and with a smile.

[8] A lesser level of charity is when one gives unwillingly.

Monday, May 30, 2011

My "Hon"some Boy Turns 8 Today



Who's got the most Hon-some boy around...I do! He woke up this morning and picked out a clean white button down shirt to wear with his jeans on his birthday. That's my guy. He could have worn the Mario shirt he received for his birthday but NO.... he chose the button down.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Move Over Harry Potter here comes Samba


Well the title says it all... Move over Harry here I come. Table 10 Samba 0. Not sure how it happened, but I was cleaning up the floor bent over and bang. I hit the very sharp corner of the glass table and managed to perform my own browlift, unfortunatly it went verticle instead of horizontal or I might have seen some signs of improvement. The good news is that I was able to get the emergency room doc to give me my suture set so next time I can take care of this at home.

FuFu's new Do and locks of love





We have been growing miss fufu's hair for four years. Last year she decided she wanted to cut it short to her "shoulders" I was not so sure this was what she really wanted and so I waited for one year. Well, one year later she still wanted to cut it and donate it to locks of love. She was very excited until the first chop of the pony tail and then the tears flowed like a waterfall. She sobbed and sobbed and sobbed but there was no turning back. When it was done we did some ice cream nail polish therapy and she perked up. Her hair came out adorable and she looks like... well, like a lot older than the little seven year old that went into the salon

Friday, May 20, 2011

Bunny FuFu turns 7 and that darn cat

So I wanted to post a couple birthday photos of miss bunny fufu, but I had a heck of a time finding them becuase they were buried on my camera by over 900 photos of this darn furry thing in the basket pictured below. Someone has been stealing my camera and taking HUNDREDS of photos of this darn cat! This cat, the one that came with our home when we bought it. This cat, the one who for seven years lived in back of the fountian. This cat, who only came out at night time when we were asleep as not to be seen by us. This cat, who has been known as ghost kitty for seven years. Yes, our little bunny fufu got upstaged by a darn cat who since Cokie died as taken over the lives of all four kids. Needless to say miss fufu is happy to share her lime light with that darncat.




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Sacramento Snow?

This past weekend was a crazy one. One day hot enough to go swimming and next day....snow. Okay, so maybe not snow, but hey here if it is white and falls from the sky it counts as snow in our book. Just ask my snow deprived yahoos...


Avalanche of Class Projects



So what we have been doing for the past 6 weeks since we last posted. As we approach the end of the school year, we have been bombarded by an avalanche of school projects. Mission projects, bird nest projects, famous Californian projects, Old Oregon Trail projects, but this one takes the cake. The build a home project. Hons class are building homes to display at next weeks open house. I first thought of a Tepee or Igloo but after seeing those as examples on the list of suggested homes, I decided to pass and move on to something a little more interesting aka not on the list of suggestions.

After spending a weekend at Mrs Open Windows home and admiring their newest addition the spark of inspiration was lit. I am quite confident we will have the only Air Stream Motor home in the class. Take a look and see for yourself. Notice the two pink flamingos in the "front yard" afterall what would a trailer be without them? I was going to put a beer in the hand of the man reclining the the lawn chair, but decided it keep it PC for a first grade class.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

My Favorite Foods

A school paragraph written by tobbers who has never written anything ---- EVER. Now, I am not sure if I am shocked by him writing it or by the subject matter and content.

Favorite Foods

To start with, breakfast is my favorite meal and the most important meal of the day. Sometimes for breakfast, I have Southern biscuits and gravy. I also like bananas and strawberry pancakes with whip cream. Other times, I eat scrambled eggs and cheese or a sausage burrito.
Another, at lunch I can’t wait to see if I am going to get my favorite foods. For lunch, I like pizza pillows. I like the little pepperoni chunks and the melted cheese. I also like hot dogs with orange soda, French fries, and BBQ chips. Other times, I like fried chicken sandwiches with a fruit cup and lemonade.
Finally, dinner is the most fulfilling meal. For dinner, I have macaroni and cheese with milk. I also like hamburgers with root beer. Other times, I like chicken pot stickers with soy milk. When I don’t eat my favorite foods, I get bratty!

So I must ask myself...if I ever wondered what Mr T has been feeding these kids when I am not home? I think I just figured it out...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Uuuuuuttttt-O

I made a big mistake. A really big mistake and I am reaching out for help! I decided to wash the mark on my bathroom ceiling...except that when I when removed the mark, it was replaced by a bigger white spot. So then I tried to blend in the white spot in with my handy dandy miracle eraser and now I have a smudgy mottled grey and white ceiling. Which leaves me with no other option than painting the whole darn thing. Any great ideas out in blog world that can help me NOT repaint my ceiling. And to think, I had not even noticed that my white bathroom ceiling was not white anymore.

Well, off to go spray paint the nasty air vent that is not white anymore either.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Four Years Ago Today...

We brought our little Bunny FuFu home from Wuzhou China. Time does fly. We are SOOOOOOOOO happy you are our little FuFu.
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Who Let The Dogs Out? - Wait We Don't Own a Dog!

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Christmas One Month Later


Thirty days ago, I was looking forward to a lovely Christmas morning of watching the kids open up their Christmas goods. Each year on Christmas Eve before the Yahoos go to bed, I explain to them the morning ground rules (yes, I am that controlling) I remind them that they are not to wake us up before 6am. When they get up they may open their stockings and play with what ever is laid out UNWRAPPED (yes, each child has one unwrapped present waiting for them to play with while I wake up)
Instead I was rudely woken at 4am from a deep sleep by the wild cackling of crazed hyenas and paper shredding. Imagine my horror when I walked into the living room to find three of the four yahoos sitting amidst a pile of open presents and paper. Yep that's right the little hellions opened up all of their presents without us! Well that is without the big girls, grandma and myself. Mr T was reading the paper and claims to have not noticed what they had done. Therefor there were no photos of unwrapping presents this year because I WAS NOT THERE to take them.

Next year the game will change. I am not sure how I will work it but I am confident there will be no chance of this happening again. Mom was not a happy camper. Some day I am sure I will find this funny. But that day is not today nor thirty days ago.

And the 2011 Pinewood Derby Winner is...





No one we know... Pinewood Derby. What is it? I did not know but I learned this past weekend the hard way. Let me back up to early last month. I was handed two small boxes with races cars printing on the outside packaging and was told they were for the cub scouts annual pinewood derby. I thought hum...okay we can assemble and paint the wooden cars and enter them in the race. That should be easy. I really did not think much of it, that was until I opened the boxes and to my horror I discovered someone had made a mistake. There was no car in our box just a piece of wood. Clearly someone at the assembly plant did not check this box for quality control. So I opened the next box and shuttered to discover it too was just a piece of wood. So then I reluctantly did was most people do first---read the directions.

THE PINEWOOD DERBY REQUIRES YOU TO CARVE OR CUT OUT YOUR CARD WITH WOOD SHOP TOOLS! What? We are the Tomato's! We have every tool imaginable for making things in the KITCHEN. Not in a wood shop. I knew at this point we were doomed.

So I sat the two pieces of wood on the dinning room table and called for the boys to let them know the situation. I explained that neither their father nor I possessed the tools let alone the skills to hand carve a car out of chunk of wood. So we had better come up with another plan of action. Just then I looked down at the table and saw the answer sitting right next to the block of wood. The Wii remote. Why, it was the same shape, length and width and would requite no carving or cutting. Voila! problem solved. Forget a fast race car...we would go for the interesting category. Tobbers loved the idea and took on the challenge. HooHaa had a whole other idea. I suggested, stick of butter, candy bar, lego brick, and toothpaste box, but nooooooooooooooooo he wanted a Bumble Bee transformer car. (yeah right?)

We strong armed mister T in to taking on HooHaa's car and with some outside help he cut a car using some wood power tools. I must say it looked quite snazzy.

So the cars were painted and assembled and we thought we were good. Ahhhhh that would be NO. We grossly neglected to understand that the Pinewood derby is serious business with much research done by participants with regard to weights, design and such. We also were negligent in researching what other Pinewood derby cars have been tried in the past---which is easily done with a simple Internet search. Basically we had all of the makings of newbies.

So we show up at the derby and entered the boys cars. There were over 200 entries. We were feeling quite proud. Each car got to run six times (one in each lane of the track). The winner is based on accumulative times some or another....did not really end up mattering to us because BOTH CARS NEVER IN THEIR SIX RUNS EVER MADE IT TO THE FINISH LINE OR EVEN NEAR IT! Yep, both cars went down the ramp and proceed to stop at the about the half way point. We were the only cars that lost EVERY race they were in. The good news...we keep out wheels on.

Surprising the boys are ramped up for next year and are already thinking of ideas for their cars.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Fridge

Noley: Mom opening our fridge is like playing Jenga
Me: Yes honey it is

Great.... enough said

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's Fun Food Friday...what will you be making?

About a year ago we decided to cut back on our restaurant dining out. This decision was twofold. One to save money and second, was that I found the yahoo's were not appreciating the meals as they should. Eating out in our family had become routine, expected and mundane. It seemed as though we were all just taking "another meal out" for granted. We used to eat out three to four five meals a week out. When I look back it all seems to crazy no wonder they took it for granted. When we made the switch last year it did not take too long for them to notice that we were not eating out. Why I believe it took about....one week. They were not too happy about the change. I explained to them why we were making changes and that instead of going out so much we would replace our weekly Friday family night out with "FUN FOOD FRIDAY"

What is Fun Food Friday you may ask? Well it started on a late Friday night when after a couple glasses of wine, I realized I needed to feed the yahoos and I had been so busy that day I had nothing to prepare. So I went to the freezer and found some odds and ends of appetizers left over from the holidays and decided to feed them to the kids as dinner. I popped them in the oven and placed them on a platter and called the kids to dinner. They looked at my like I was nuts and asked what I was serving them. I explained that it was the official kick off of Fun Food Friday and that from here on out every Friday dinner would consist of "Fun Food" to eat. And that night we were serving, small little quiches, crab cakes, buffalo wings, tater tots and petite fours. Needless to say, it was a home run.

These days the kids start asking about Monday what is going to be served on Fun Food Friday. They invite their friends and neighbor kids. We started something that has snowballed into one of the kids most anticipated events of the week.

Tonight Mr T is taking the rein of Fun Food Friday and he and Ms Canoley are making "grilled Elvis's" California style. What is a Grilled Elvis? Uh that would be peanut butter, honey, banana and bacon sandwiches. The kids can hardly wait. I on the other hand am a little bit aprehensive.

Tonight's Dinner Menu: Grilled Elvis's, Ice Cream Cake and Big Green Salad for mom.

What are you making for Fun Food Friday?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Make Your Dreams Come True Day

Well it looks like they have a day for everything. Today is national make your dreams come true day. Now that sounds like a perfect day to me.
So what it is going to be? What are you going to do to move in the direction of achieving your dreams. Today is the day. So what kind of dreamer are you? A Somewhere over the Rainbow person or a If I had a Million Dollars person?

p.s. So it appears that I am a somewhere over the rainbow person. As I posted this post to blogger, the music that I have playing on my site started playing and guess what song played...yep you guessed it somewhere over the rainbow. It could have chose any of the 40 plus songs but no...it chose that one. Made me smile at how life works...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oh my there really is a Tooth Fairy!

Little bunny FuFu has been wanting to lose a tooth for over two years. Well she lost her first tooth and was so excited she could barely contain her joy. To make her tooth tooth fairy worthy, she (unbeknown to me) went in the bathroom to wash her tooth with soap only to come out in tears that she had washed her tooth down the drain.
I assured her that if she wrote a note to the tooth fairy she would understand what happened. So here is what she wrote " dear tooth fairy...i like you...you are pretty... i was washing my tooth and it is lost in the sink. Can you get it out for me? I want it back. I want you to give me ten dollars and 100 pennies. i love you you are pretty.. please give me money. love fu."
She places the letter under her pillow and all I can think of is great? How the heck am I going to come up with the darn lost tooth?
The next morning I am barefoot in the bathroom and step on something sharp. I look down and what do you know...I was stepping on the tooth! The toothfairy went down the drain and brought the tooth back out. I was so excited for FuFu.
So the tooth fairy was able to give FuFu her tooth back and the 100 pennies. What about the requested 10 bucks you ask? Hey, this economy is hitting everyone...even the toothfairy.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Red White and Huh?



"Mom we have to wear red, white and blue to school tomorrow." "Huh?" I said
Yep read white and blue and a lot of it..."okay" I say, thinking to myself...but it's Christmas?...what about read white and green?. "Well, you are in luck, I just moved the fourth of July box out of the way to access the Christmas box. Have at it." I tell them. And here is what they went to school looking like.... And whatta ya know...they won first and second place out of five hundred and someodd kids. Nothing like not having enough room in the attic to store the 4th of July box!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Hallelujah --- one to warm your heart which is hard to do in Alaska



Faith is the greatest of all "Property"... for Edie...

The funny thing about blog world, is that one can become very aquainted and attached to people one has never even met. Two years ago, I was introduced (or more like stumbled) across a woman whose blog spoke freely of passion. Her passion rang a tone of familiarity to me like a kindered spirit. And sometimes in ways that were challenging to my day to day rountine life - like the freindly slap of reality by a dear friend. I found her weekly doses of passion were infectous---be it books, family, food, creativity, home, life, sprituality---she touched them all. She is one who is truthful, honest with herself and others and is brave enough to share it with all who will listen. All qualities to admire and respect.

Two weeks ago, my dear blogland friend's life changed when she and her family lost their home and all of their worldly posessions in an early morning fire. I feel great sadness for her loss and as I would with any friend wish I could reach out and help take some of the pain away. So instead, I am sending out some words of support and love to a family I know but have never met. Edie, here are three quotes that I wish to share with you and your family during this time of transisition.

"Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds"

"Words have the power to both destroy and heal. When words are both true and kind, they can change our world."

"On a long journey of human life, faith is the best of companions; it is the best refreshment on the journey; and it is the greatest property."

Keep the faith Edie as you always do. Happy birthday. May 2011 behold much grace for you and your family.

Here is her blog. www.lifeingraceblog.com

Hugs from the west coast Edie.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011

What a great laid back inspirational seeking day. What exactly does that mean? Well, for me that means I spent most of the day hopping around in blogland and the other half in shopping. What did I buy? Uhhh a bird feeder and cat food and no the bird feeder is not the cat food.