January 25, 2009

Getty Villa

We spent MLK Day at the Getty Villa. I know it's been a week, but that's the way it goes sometimes. We went with Cookie Nut, Dangerboy, and their lovely parents. I couldn't help but admire the statuary and how realistic they looked, especially the busts of everyday people. They looked like someone you might know.

Mermaid was enamored with this statue of Hermes and his cute winged shoes. After the Getty, we went to the beach at Topanga Beach. Of course we should've brought the board. Duh. Instead we just watched. Monkey almost walked into some guy, and when he looked up, I realized it was Andy Garcia. It was kind of fun to have the full LA experience: museum, beach, movie star.

January 18, 2009


My efforts to simplify have been thwarted by LIFE. What's up with that?
Good things:
-My class this semester is a breeze. Sometimes, a breeze is a good thing.
-Mermaid passed her reading test with flying colors. Her teacher had no idea she could read so well (yet another major problem with 25 kids in a class of 1st graders).
-We've decided to put the mermaid in another school next year (if we stay) since it starts at 8:30, giving us 30 more minutes of sleep!!!!
-J and I went on a date last week. It was F-U-N. And we just made babysitting arrangements for V-day. And...last night we stayed up late playing Boggle. So much fun. Especially because I won (thank you super competitive siblings!)
-J invited friends over for a potluck. And it was also fun. It's so good to be with friends. They are our family here.

But...our camera is broken. Which is very annoying since we paid quite a bit for it. So I'm using our old camera. I want an SLR. But alas, we have a budget.

Which means that Jesse and I are now looking at our belongings and thinking "how much could I get for that off of Craigslist?"

The countdown for J's job talk continues. He's had several phone interviews, but have yet to hear. I adore upstate NY. I adore snow, rain, sleet, hail. I also adore California. And if we live here another year, that's just great. And gosh darn it. People like me.

January 14, 2009

My Dad

If you haven't met my dad, here he is. I'm a little younger than Mermaid in this picture. I'm not sure if he knows it, but we call him Safety Merv. We were the only kids with bike helmets in 1982. He and my mom sewed seat belts for the back seat of the van because they didn't come standard. He told us horror stories of severed hands and heads when people stuck them out of the car window. We shot guns, but we always wore eye and ear protection and we had gun safety lessons each time. He made us stay inside in the basement during heatwaves. He has flares and a little orange pop up safety cone in his trunk in case he needs to fix a flat. He made us read the safety instruction card in airplanes and always know where our nearest exit was.

Now I tell my kids about severed hands, make them wear their helmets, and make them stay several feet from the curb when at a crosswalk. Thanks Dad.

January 13, 2009

Shoot 'em

Here's another classic photo from the flood. My dad used to be really into guns (maybe he still is?) but he'd take us shooting with him. I'm pretty junk since I can't really see. But my little brother is amazing. He had a bit of practice with the neighborhood tree rats.

I can't imagine taking my girls out to shoot. I had to have been younger than Mermaid when I shot my first 22. I think someone else is going to have to teach the girls to shoot. If at all.

January 12, 2009

Recovering Dining Room Chairs

So it's not the hardest thing ever, but not the easiest either. We drove these down from the Santa Cruz flea market where I got them for $15. J was not excited but was an incredibly good sport about not complaining. Does he know how much I appreciate him letting me get my own way? They were covered in a pukey green that of course Mermaid loved and couldn't believe I wanted to cover. I had this great fabric that I got from a garage sale. This woman decorated yachts and had all these remnants that were of no use to her. I bought yards and yards of various fabrics for about $20. I had just enough of this blue stripey stuff for two chairs. Perfect.

I also finally recovered some pillows that my kids got from a couch that someone put by the dumpster. The pillows were so comfy, but a wacky cheetah print. I used some incredibly expensive and soft fabric from this same garage sale and have been stroking these pillows every chance I get. I could only cover one, but made a new pillow with what was left and refilled it with the second pillows stuffing.

So total cost for this little makeover- less than $20.

Next project: Paint the stools and legs of the table to match.


We're back on a budget and one thing that came up was an allowance for Mermaid. She is turning 7 soon, and really it's time for her to understand money a little better. We decided to give her a monthly allowance of $5. She gets it in a big chunk because it's a) easier to pay tithing once a month, b) easier to save, and c) she can buy more stuff. We've also agreed to match any money she decides to save. You should have heard her trying to explain it to Monkey. "Whatever dollars you save, mom gives you the same amount and then when you're old, like 16, you can buy big things." Hm. I was thinking more like college or mission fund. And I think she thought we were going to make a physical trip to the bank. She was slightly disappointed when I got on the computer, but pretty excited to see me put $10 more dollars into her account (She opened up her piggy bank and had quite a stash in there).

January 9, 2009


My goal for 2009 is to Simplify. Not easy as school has already started, J has at least two trips planned next month, and we also have goals we want to accomplish.

So...here's what I've done so far:
-Discontinued dance class for the mermaid. She didn't like the teacher, it was expensive, and one more place to drive.
-Attend monkey's music class every other week and the library on alternating weeks. Voila! One more free morning.
-Added another mom to joy school. That's one more mom in rotation and one less time I have to teach.
-Got Mermaid a bus pass so I don't have to pick her up every day. Now we just have to walk 5 minutes to meet her instead of wasting 30 minutes and driving. Yay!!
-Started exercising again after an 18 month hiatus. I now have more energy and also sleep like a log at night. Joy!

So what word will describe 2009 for you?

January 8, 2009

Park Day

We went to the park yesterday and I knew the lighting would be good so I brought my camera. Yay for foresight!

January 7, 2009

Sandwich bags

I finally made some sandwich bags. We took them to the park filled with cheezits, so the bags are already greasy. Oh well. They're meant to be used. I'll make some snack size ones soon. I'm excited to have another reusable bag for school, park days, and random snacking. Less plastic= good. And it's fun to see my kawaii fabric in use, not just in a drawer.
I lined it with yellow quilting fabric and used velcro to fasten it. Which turtle is your favorite?

January 6, 2009

Wheat Bread. Yum

Here's my first money saving technique. One Jesse taught me years before. Looks like this picture was taken after we broke up. Man, we were hot. I'm sure the bread was good, too.

Wheat Bread
2 cups warm water
2 tsp yeast
1/4 cup honey
proof yeast
2 cups wheat flour
let sit for 10 mins or so.
2 tsps salt
1/4 cup oil
white flour 1 cup at a time, mixing in between.
add flour until you reach a workable consistency, but still a bit sticky.
you can also add powdered milk and an egg if you're feeling fancy.
let rise until doubled
punch down.
form into 2 loaves
let rise until doubled.
bake at 375

January 4, 2009


Most of you who know Jesse will be surprised to see him with a phone to his ear. But if you do know him, you won't be surprised to hear that he was talking to someone in his family (Adam this time, but it could have been any of his other siblings or his mom. The guy loves his family). I'm sure I could think of 31 reasons to be happy he was born 31 years ago (on New Year's, not today). But I'll give you a chance to write some of your own at the end.

So here goes:
1. He puts the kids to bed every night. Not just some nights when he's feeling up to it, but every-single-night.
2. He buys me flowers. Not all the time. Just when he knows I really need them. It makes them incredibly meaningful.
3. He really appreciates it when I drive (especially long distances).
4. He loves his family. He is very close to his mom and brothers and sisters. It's very sweet.
5. He loves having company over. Jesse would have a dinner party every Sunday if it were up to him.
6. Jesse would love to have enough surfboards, kayaks, scuba gear, skate gear, and snowboarding gear to share with anyone who wanted it. He wants to have all the equipment so that no one has to rent and everyone can come. I'm looking forward to someday having a garage so he can.
7. Jesse loves to budget. And he hardly ever spends any money.
8. He makes it a goal to spend meaningful time with the girls.
9. He and Chris blessed the sacrament every week in our ward pre-mission. It made a huge impression on me because there were tons of guys in our ward, but just he and Chris made it a point to come to church early.
10. Jesse's work has let us travel a lot. We've had amazing experiences and seen some unforgettable things thanks to him.
11. Jesse knows how to use power tools. He fixes stuff.
12. Jesse loves service. He loves moving people. He loves making bread for people. He loves sharing anything he has with others.
13. He hates to make phone calls. But when he takes the cell phone, he'll just call to chat with me.
14. Jesse is incredibly indecisive. There's still a part of me that can't believe he decided to marry me.
15. Jesse loves to buy scrolls. We have 5 or 6 from Japan and Taiwan and each is beautiful for different reasons. I love that he saves his money to buy art.
16. He just barely threw away his baby teeth. He'd been saving them under his mom's bed for the last 25+ years. At the same time it grosses me out, it's kind of cool.
17. Jesse will be on the phone for 30 minutes before I realize he's talking to my little brother. Then he'll hang up and say "Ben said Hi. He had to go." Annoying, but still cool.
18. He bought me 450 thread count sheets and then didn't wrap them up for Christmas. But just tossed them on the bed. I would've hated them for Christmas, but LOVE them as a just because I was at Ross and I think we need new sheets purchase.
19. Jesse is home every night for dinner. We eat at 5:30.
20. And then he does the dishes almost every night.
21. Jesse has helped me with school and wouldn't mind one bit if I became the primary breadwinner. As long as he was the primary breadmaker, he'd be happy.

And now it's your turn to add the last ten reasons we love Jesse and are glad he was born.

We're glad you were born Jesse.

January 3, 2009

And Now You are Four

Monkey had her birthday in Martinez with the Fabulous Lipman Bunch. They are an instant birthday complete with ball pit. Jake and Sarah have 7 gorgeous kids (6 of whom are pictured) and were gracious enough to agree to let me bring mine over so that Monkey felt her day was special. Which is no easy feat when it's only 4 days after Christmas.

Jake is Jesse's cousin and one super cool guy. Sarah is amazing with her brood. Cool, yet totally in charge. She made me want to have seven kids. She made it look doable. And then she brought out the essential oils and gave me a fertility massage complete with massage oil to bring home.

Yogi and Harmon

Christmas Evening, Yogi brought Harmon to visit Grandma. It was so fun to see him. I love Jesse's cousins (they are legion). Yogi is the coolest dog ever. He was great to the kids (who are so scared of dogs but not Yogi) and Jesse and I adore him (and we're not exactly dog lovers). If we ever have a huge yard and Yogi sires puppies, we hereby put dibs in for one of his progeny. I can't believe I just said that. I really like that dog.

January 2, 2009

Christmas Day

Hi. It's been awhile. But I'm back. And I have tons of pictures to show all of you. So, we'll start with Christmas Day. Mermaid got a doll. Monkey is modeling it. The girls made tutus for each other. We spent Christmas evening up in Nevada City with the Dimartinis. We played in the snow with them and ate an amazing Christmas dinner.
We had a great time with Grandma, Karen, and Karen. I beat Jesse and Grandma at Scrabble. This means that I can never play again if I want to stay on top. Stay tuned for more pictures.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...