Thursday, December 31, 2009


When we told the kids, at the last rest stop before home, that Cleo had died, they both sobbed. The first thing Rhys did, when he could talk, was ask me for his wish list because he needed to add something to it. He quickly wrote "new cat pleas." When we got home, we all cried some more. There really is nothing quite so heartbreaking as having your children being so sad. Irene and Rhys both asked Santa to bring an orange tabby for Christmas. Santa wrote to them saying that he couldn't do that, but that he was letting the fairies and elves know that we were looking for a kitty. We have found that the best kitties are the ones who find their people.

On Christmas Eve, one of the books that Irene chose for us to read was The Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes & illustrated by Tasha Tudor about a cat who is caught in a snowstorm and found by a family and brought home.

Yesterday, Rob saw this post on The RGJ (our local newspaper) online:
Email this post

klm1717 wrote:
That's awesome about Ollie and Lala-I was referred to Dr. Tom a few years ago when I adopted a cat from Wylie Animal Rescue-he does a lot of charity work, as I understand it. As I'm in school & considering going into the veterinary field myself, he allowed me to come in & observe one morning. He took great care of my (now) oldest cat when he was having issues (turned out to be a bladder infection)-great follow up! & bent over backwards to try to find out what was wrong w/my shepard mix when he was sick. I've never seen a vet who really cares as much (& I've seen a LOT of vets!) They're great people!
12/30/2009 10:17 PM PST
SparksRob wrote:
We picked up Lala from Alpine Veterinary Hospital this afternoon and brought her home. Thank you so much to Kristina and Dr. Tom!

Our 15 year old female tabby (Cleo) passed away just before Christmas while we were in Disneyland. Our kids (6 and 10) were devastated. Talk about going from a big high to a deep low! We vowed that our next cat would be an orange tabby (preferably a kitten!) and that one way or another, IT would find US. Orange tabbys have a wonderful personality; like no other cats I've ever owned. We saw this story in the RGJ yesterday and we immediately contacted the folks at Alpine. After meeting Lala we were smitten and, like we knew would happen, SHE found US!

She is hiding away in our house, getting adjusted to her new surroundings. The name we're thinking of giving her is Junebug (after Mama Junebug Jones from the Skippyjon Jones children's books). Our house is a happy one this New Year's Eve!
12/31/2009 1:22 PM PST

I quickly sent an e-mail to the vet's office.

We went to meet her this morning. She is a love and while she was really nervous (her tail shaking), she went right up to both Rhys and Irene and sniffed their faces and started to calm down. The vet tech, Kristina, said there was someone else who wanted to meet her, but that she was pretty sure that we were The Family for this kitty. I wish you could have seen the joy on Irene and Rhys' faces. Rhys went with Rob back to work, Irene and I went to get kitten supplies. Rob called soon after to say he was on his way home with our kitten. She's about 6 months old.

This was the update on the RGJ site:

Yesterday, there was a blog post about an orange tabby named Lala who was found unconscious and half-buried during a recent Reno snowstorm. She was taken to Alpine Veterinary Hospital on South Virginia, who had been caring for her and socializing her and seeking a forever home. A number of inquiries resulted, including this email sent to Alpine from Kristen in Spanish Springs:
I'm sure by now (when I'm first seeing this story) you've gotten a number of offers to adopt Lala. I would like to put our name in the ring as well. On Friday the 18th, our beloved Cleo died at age 15. It left an enormous hole in our family. Our two children both asked Santa for a new cat. He let them know that he's put it out to the fairies and the elves that we are in search of an orange tabby kitty. On Christmas Eve, we read a story called The Christmas Cat which is about a cat that is lost in the snow and found by a wonderful family. Anyway, I just wanted to put it out there.
Lala (in the middle of the photo, taken at Alpine) will be joining Kristen's family. Here's hoping it works out! Thanks to all who wanted to help.

She had hidden herself really well after we got here. I just found her in the kids' bathroom in between the shower curtains. She is now downstairs looking at everything, keeping low to the ground. We are trying out the name Junebug after Mama Junebug Jones in the Skippyjon Jones books (we really love Judy Schachner's books). A few other names - also from that book - are Jillyboo and Jujubee.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

GUESS Homeschool Science Fair!

Firstly, I apologize for neglecting my poor blog and my fabulous follower (::waves to Jennie::). Recently, Lydia and her homeschool crew had their GUESS Homeschool Science Fair. Every time Lydia does these things it makes me deeply want two things -- first and foremost, it makes me want to move right next door to her house and 2nd, because I'd be living right next door and because she's funny, smart, and fabulous, and because she has lots of homeschooling friends who are much the same, it makes me want to homeschool mine! I'm sure I could add something to the mix..

The Homeschool Science Fair could probably happen without sponsors, but I don't know where everything would fit. I don't think as many people would be able to participate, and so, without further ado, I would like to say a big and giant thank you to the following homeschool-friendly businesses for supporting the GUESS Homeschool Science Fair and the young scientists of Hampton Roads!

Green Olive Tree is an internet company based in Portsmouth, Virginia and owned and operated by a homeschooling family. They offer a broad range of internet services, from reliable web hosting to corporate infrastructure solutions and server administration.

SKS Science supplies homeschoolers and other educators with all the science supplies you need to turn your dining room table into a proper laboratory. Browse their site for test tubes, bottles, face masks and other lab supplies and books.

Book Exchange is the largest used bookstore in Eastern Virginia. Unlike most musty and confusing used stores, this one is clean, bright, inviting, and has a huge selection of used homeschool books. There's always an interesting curriculum find on these shelves! Please click on the link and just LOOK at this amazing book store! I think I could just live there happily with the comfy couches and the books.

Folkmanis Puppets makes the most delightful animal puppets available outside Santa's workshop. Meet their most unusual creations like llamas, Chinese dragons, ostriches, flying squirrels. Unusual materials create realistic textures, and they all move in very realistic ways. Irresistible. We have several of the Folkmanis Puppets and have never been disappointed by them. They have so much expression even before you put your own magic into them.

The Happy Scientist, Robert Krampf, hosts an online wonderland for budding scientists. With online science lessons, experiments to try at home, a science photo of the day, and new content added all the time, you'll love setting your kids loose on this site.

Mad Science is Hampton Roads' premier provider of science enrichment classes for children. Summer classes include "Crazy Chemistry" and a space camp developed with NASA! New homeschool science classes are being offered in Norfolk and VA Beach, with more planned for fall. Have you seen these scientists in action? Rhys and Irene went to Mad Science camp here in Sparks and they LOVED it! They had so much fun and were soon telling me all about thrust and gravity and rockets. They really share the joy of science with kids.

Moore Expressions is a homeschool bookstore in Virginia Beach, VA. They sell used and new homeschooling curriculum, host a support group, and publish a newsletter called the Bayith Educator. They are the premier source for homeschooling books in the Hampton Roads area.

Norfolk Karate Academy offers classes in Tang Soo Do (Korean karate) and Gracie Jiu Jitsu (Brazilian grappling and self-defense). With classes for children, teens, and adults, it's a great way for anyone to get in shape and kick things in a socially acceptable way!

Brooks Systems offers standalone software and web applications that check legal compliance in all municipalities in all fifty states, and create truth-in-lending documents for residential lenders. Using Brooks for your automated mortgage compliance, you can be sure your loans are safe.

Virginia Air and Space Center was host to the homeschool science fair this year, and delivered awesome science classes for homeschoolers from their education department. The VASC is the educator resource center for the NASA Langley Research Center. I find it so wonderful that VASC was the host for the science fair! Can you imagine? They are truly putting our future first by showing how much they value these young scientists!

Mad props to all of the sponsors and all of the children who participated in this fabulous events and the homeschooling parents who really made it happen!

You can check out pictures and winners right here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

September 11, 2009

Today is the day that we do our best to do something for the local firefighters. We've made them signs expressing our thanks, we've made cards, and cookies. Today, at one point, for just the smallest of seconds, I was thinking, that I didn't know if we had time to make cookies for our local station. How awful is that? My next thought was - if we don't do something to show our appreciation this year, it would be that much easier to do that next year. So I whapped myself in the head a little. Irene and Rhys made wonderful cards, the cookies were super chocolatey and warm when we delivered them. The firefighters were delighted with all of it and I'm so glad we did it.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

something making me happy right now.

My Keds arrived today! I love them. I especially love that they were
on sale! I love the plaid and the shocks of bright pink. yea!

Monday, July 06, 2009

celebrating a great first day of school

Klunker's is a great place to go to celebrate a fabulous first day!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

yea me :)

it's hard to read, but I received a Girl Scout Award from our service
unit tonight. It is the Valued Volunteer Award *beam*

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

overwhelm? anxious?

I don't know how to explain it (and we'll just pass over the elephant in the room - you know, the one where people wonder why i haven't been updating this with any kind of regularity), but every once in a while, I just feel anxious and overwhelmed. Like I'm forgetting something of vital importance.

Part of this could be that I'm meeting with the principal today. Part of it could be that I'm frustrated with some girl scout stuff having to do with my troop. I also have financials due soon and i'd give my right arm for a treasurer. I don't enjoy using other people's money and making sure that I know where it all goes/went and being accountable for it.

The school stuff is frustrating. Irene and Rhys have been retracked. I didn't want them retracked. I was happy knowing our schedule. It's now changed. The only good part of it is that Rhys might have Irene's first grade teacher. That's really all that will make it okay. I need to think of what to say to the principal. I feel like I help the school quite a bit in the ways I am able. I volunteer in the classrooms, I can sub almost always at a moment's notice (since both kids go there, it's easier than when I have to go to a different school), I volunteer for PTO things, I do my best to be supportive of the teachers. And, because I don't LIKE being the squeaky wheel, I feel like my kids got ewed-scray.

I'm trying to keep it together and just don't like this fast heartbeat slightly queasy feeling.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

cool model fun at the library

"it's from the late cretacious period. so it IS a t-Rex"
it was fun putting it together.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Missing Pat

It's funny when it hits me. Tonight it was when I opened up my browser and there was a picture of her. The picture was taken after her first fight with ovarian cancer seemed like it was over. Her hair had grown back and she had the slick new doo - I loved it. Anyway, I saw the picture and a wave of missing Pat came over me.

We didn't always see eye to eye, Pat and I. But I know she loved me very much - as I did (do) her. I was, what she called, "her nother daughter." I am almost always wearing the necklace she gave me after Rhys was born. It's actually Bob's baby ring. Bob's mother gave it to Pat when Rob was born. She almost always had it on - from the time I met her until she gave it to me. Here I am at Disneyland with a wee bitty Rhysie and the necklace from Pat.

I have a special ring that was hers as well. I need to get it resized so that it fits me a bit better because I'd like to wear it more often.It's the green ring. This picture is from our trip to Disneyland in November 2006. It was a good trip. Anyway, I'm just missing her and thought I'd write it down.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cool little video

My brother works for The Press Enterprise in San Bernadino County. He edited this for the PE's online paper - it is a nice story - especially in these times when there is so much negativity in the news.

Friday, February 13, 2009

one potholder made.

now I have to figure out how to finish it off.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

questions questions questions (a meme)

there will be more that I put up here - lots of folks are doing the meme thing on facebook. I figured I'd do it here too b/c not everyone is on FB.

1. Where is your cell phone? in my pocket
2. Your significant other? Rob
3. Your hair? dark brown
4. Your favorite thing? with my whole family.
5. Your dream last night? dream? dude, I was so tired i just slept and slept and slept
6. Your favorite drink? in the nonalcoholic category? root beer - the real deal, no caffeine added
7. Your dream/goal? i have several. The first is to run/walk the Honolulu marathon with Jolie and Ted this year. Farther down the line? getting my teaching credential and masters in 0-5 special ed. what I think about most dream? moving back to the North Bay - maybe Rob could telecommute...IGT really is a great company.
8. What room you are in? the living room
9. Your hobby? quilting, though I don't get to do it nearly as much as I'd like
10. Your fear? something happening to my kids or husband.
11. Where do you want to be in 6 years? working in one of the developmental preschool classes OR working directly with parents and special needs children focusing probably on deaf kids.
12. Where were you last night? in bed. sorry it wasn't anything more exciting, but it was a tuesday. who am i kidding. it's rarely someplace more exciting than in bed.
13. Muffins? as long as there is no fruit in them, i like 'em. actually, i like banana muffins if there are no nuts. god, no wonder Rob thinks of me as Sally from When Harry Met Sally
14. Wish list item? just one? Oprah sending someone to help me organize my house so that there isn't so much clutter and giving me some ideas on how to keep it very kid friendly (I love all their art on my walls!) but clear of things on the floor or on other flat surfaces.
15. Where you grew up? most of the first 15 years in Riverside and Redlands with time in Oakland too, the next 19 in the Bay Area.
16. Last thing you did? sang a few songs with Rhys on Rock Band
17. What are you wearing? cuddle duds under, a brown v-neck that I love, jeans, and a pair of socks.
18. Your TV? Vizio. I'm fine with whatever and while it's nice (especially for Rock Band and movies, I was just as fine with our little 12" TV from when Rob and I first moved in together.
19. Your pets? Just Cleo. Merced died 1 1/2 years ago now. We still miss him, but he's in our backyard making our plants happy.
20. Friends? are the family we choose and I'm lucky to have some amazing friends - a few I've never even met in person (though we have video chatted)
21. Your life? In many aspects it is good. I have a husband who loves me and is an amazing person and father. He makes me happy every day in some way - whether it's the kiss when he gets home, smiling at me in that special way, or doing something with the kids. I have 2 children who, while occasionally make me crazy, I love without limits. I try to let them know it many times per day.
22. Your mood? happy but with another damned headache
23. Missing some one? yes. more than one someone. My MIL and my gramma both died last year. I miss them both. I love it though, when I come across something that was from them as I do things throughout the day - sometimes it's a note my gramma wrote to me, or using my MIL's crochet hook.
24. Car? I usually drive my almost 12 year old RAV4. Rob mostly drives his Prius (but I got to do my big 4Kplus drive with the kids this summer in the Prius.
25. Something you're not wearing? panties. hahahahah! i am kidding! i don't know - i'm not wearing LOTS of things. what a silly question.
26. Your favorite store? Etsy
27. Your favorite color? it often changes. to wear, probably deep crimson or deep browns, or deep greens.
28. When is the last time you laughed? about an hour ago when Rhys and I were outside.
29. Last time you cried? a few days ago when I was talking to my cousin, I got teary.
30. Who will send this? i don't know. I don't tend to "TAG" people, though on the last note, as people tagged me, i'd add them as a tag so they'd see I'd done it.
31. One place that I go to over and over? besides the kids' school? the Bay Area
32. One person who emails me regularly? like every day? probably all the spammers promising to enlarge my penis. Rob's family is really great about sending out weekly updates. They are fun to read.
33. Favorite place to eat? when? Black Rock Pizza. Unless I'm in Redlands. Then I'd have to go with my Gramma's. Moni's rice, Gramma's beans, homemade enchiladas, and if I ever happen to be there at the right time, nopales!
34. What are you doing tonight? hmm, it's wednesday, which is one of our dessert nights. so, I'll make some dinner, hopefully the kids will enjoy it and get dessert. Tonight is my night to read to Rhys, so we'll read some Wind in the Willows, I'll tell him our ritual "I love you" R: I love you too, mama. "Have good sleeps!" R: have good sleeps too. and then, if I haven't said "See you in 5 minutes" fast enough, he'll say "See me in 5 minutes, mama!" Then I will head downstairs, play on FB or some such thing and watch LOST.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

What a day!

Just some of my thoughts as I watched the 44th president of the United States get sworn in...

I'm watching the inauguration with tears of joy streaming down my face. A feeling of profound pride and joy and hope in my heart. I am enjoying watching that same feeling projected through the eyes of all the people in washington and around the United States. Watching the musical performances (I'll need to remember to tell Rhys that it was John Williams who composed the music peformed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, Anthony McGill) and the joy in their faces as they played and enjoyed the moment and beamed, the joyous dancing by the people, President Obama's girlies dancing their little dances of happiness - it's just huge. Huge in ways that I can't even put to words. I feel a pride I've not felt in a long time.

I love the way President Obama and our new first lady walk together - holding hands, walking with purpose, stopping to say hello, sharing *their* joy with their girls.

I know that not everyone shares my joy - but I hope that they too will feel some of the hope I feel. President Obama has a hard road and I am ready to get my hands dirty (always have been).

Monday, January 19, 2009

Looking Forward to Tomorrow

That's what I'm feeling right now - Hope!

and, because it's a special day for two other people not becoming president tomorrow, but still, very special, I'd like to wish Jaye and my nephew, Jake, VERY VERY happy birthdays! Pretty cool to have a day of celebration on a day when so many people will be celebrating.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Clearly Insane

My sister, Jolie, asked me on Sunday, if, perhaps, I'd like to noodle over the idea of running/walking/bothing the Honolulu Marathon with her in December (december 13th in fact). So, I noodled it over and decided, what the heck.

We are going to re-evaluate in the summer - look at finances, where we are in our training, etc. But, as of right now, I'm saying we're doing it. And my brother, Ted, might do it as well!! Our kids and spouses and whomever else might want to come along will be our cheering crew and cheer us at multiple places on the course. There is no time limit. There is no rule that says we must run the whole thing. So -- it will be done!

Wish me luck!!

Friday, January 02, 2009

dad is great!

Rob made the ultimate sacrifice...he made cinnamon rolls for all of us
for baking this morning...but he had to go to work.
boy! do I love that man of mine!!!

all nicely risen