17 December 2013

Christmas cards

Honestly, I don't know which I enjoy more, sending cards or receiving them.  But this year, I'm totally behind.  James is out of state until the end of the week and now I'm stuck with next day Costco cards of just the boys (again). 

Wait...why did I say *but* this year?  That's EVERY year!

I suppose I shouldn't complain because I'm my own photographer and was able to conveniently snap these images this afternoon.  They won't make it onto the card so I'm posting them here:

15 December 2013

Radish harvest

Plentiful?  No.  But definitely joyful...for both hungry dog and proud boy.

Paper ornaments

Is it just me or does Anna Banana look a little guilty about her photobombing?

Elf on the Shelf, Part I

You know, he's not called Elf Making Flour Angels or Elf Swings Wildly from the Rafters.  I think he was originally intended to move from one shelf to the next.  And only occasionally at that!

Randolph (Friend to Gandalf) came for a quick visit a little after Thanksgiving and returned on December 1st.  We found him on the foyer chandelier:

Playing air hockey:

Riding a dinosaur and walking two others:

Coloring an elf page:

The toothpaste looks like candy canes with its swirls of red and white:

Taking a zip line between the decorations:

Watering the plants:

It's a little difficult to see here, but he flew up to the top of our tree with his blue cape:

I don't think Ironman liked the hand he was dealt: 

Elf yoga?

Captured elf!

Who doesn't do a little binging around the holidays?

Coffee filter snowflakes:

Photographer elf snapping a shot of some of our favorite furry friends:

06 December 2013

Little notes that we leave for each other

Last summer, the gazebo floor was repainted...and Paxil traipsed right through it!  He made paint paw prints all over the yard and I never got around to cleaning it up.  But it turns out that this is all a good thing because during a recent rain, the dust ran off and it was like seeing my pooch all over again.  I cried.  A lot.  (Though it wasn't nearly as much as I wailed when I saw his stocking--this is my first Christmas without him!)

We have a chalkboard and we occasionally use to leave notes for each other.  In case the kids wondered or forgot, I wanted to remind them:

A2 drew me as a superhero.  See the MM on my belt?  That's for Might Mama!  Apparently, I have the power of flight and a super pet called Dynamo Dog.  Ha!  I didn't know he'd done it until I picked up a paper airplane and unfolded it before I put it in the shredder (to be reused as Mr. Fur Christopher bedding).  I think I got turbo boosters on my shoes.  Nice touch.

Thanksgiving crafting

I made this construction paper pin-the-tail turkey for a class party and we never got to use it so I forced A1 and his classmate to play with it at home.  Despite the mandatory fun, I believe they still genuinely enjoyed themselves. 

This is a stained glass turkey using tissue paper and contact paper.  The boys preferred cyclops turkeys:

"Me and my brother" autumn trees.  I'm a sucker for handprint projects because their hands are going to be itty bitty for only so much longer. 

04 December 2013

Saturdays are back!

I realize that we'd just been to Joshua Tree a few weeks prior, but it was the first Saturday after the soccer season ended and I was feeling wild and free!

I'm always so impressed at what my phone camera can do:

A1 said, "Hey, Mama, it's like a picture frame right in the rock!  Get your camera!"  So I did.

Grandparent photo session at the golf course

Eons ago (3 Christmases ago!), I sold a mini session to a daughter who gifted it to her mother, who finally decided to schedule the shoot.  Even though I officially put myself out of business 2 years ago, I felt compelled to make good on the offer anyhow.  Here's what I learned: I hate mini sessions!  They don't allow for me to get to know my subjects and, when used individually, are insanely cost prohibitive for me!

Still, it was such a relief to clear it off of my plate since this time of year, everything is so frenzied for me.

I've bitten off more than I can chew

I promised not to overload myself at the beginning of the school year.  I failed.  Miserably.  I have so many unresolved matters for the boys' scouting and school activities (including a scary 8-page state application for the Principal), that I've woken up twice this week in a cold sweat. 

On the upside, I'm starting to figure out my phone's camera!

Here is my first attempt at a flash photo with A1 in the last of the day's light and a ridiculous selfie where I couldn't figure out where to put my hand so it ended up in front of the screen.

03 December 2013

Teacher work day

November 1st was a no-school day for the boys.  A Joshua Tree visit was in order!  We've discovered books on tape and it's made the ride out to the desert even easier for us.




Totally weird and creepy mannequin head!!!

02 December 2013


A1's 3rd grade class has monthly landmark challenges where a single image of some iconic O.C. locale is posted and the students are to make their way to send back a photo.  What a neat way of exploring the county! 

I don't have images of the 1st one ready but here are the 2nd and 3rd ones with some classmates and siblings.

Halloween roundup

It seems that I've been doing a Halloween roundup for years.  I always find that things pile up on me this time of year.

A1 had a book report where a pumpkin was made to look like a main character.  He read the Magician's Nephew so he made Aslan, the Lion of "Yarnia".  We used soooo much yard for the mane.

Mummy + Pumpkin = Mumpkin!

Obligatory Irvine Regional Park photo ops:

School parade:

We went to the city gym for games and a fun mad scientist live show.

This enormous pumpkin was a surprise gift.  Imagine our shock when I first saw it!