On the way to school last Thursday I saw this tree. A tree I had driven past for over a year and never noticed! This tree was so intriguing, that I instinctively slowed the car down to admire it. The kids saw it and were just as intrigued.
Now everyday on the way to school, they see who can see this tree first and we slow down to admire it. Unfortunately, the house that owns the tree is for sale so we cant ask anyone what kind of tree it is. Click on the pic to enlarge it. If anyone knows- please let me know!
At the Indian Wells Arts Festival a couple of weekends back, (Where our RCMS mosaic'd bike sculpture was), Jeff and I met this wonderful artist. Her name is Dina Appel and she grew up in Newport Beach. (not too far from Palos Verdes) *Click on Dina's name to go to her website! She does these beautiful Trompe l'oeil paintings that are incredible! Her work caught our eye because there was one with a balloon in it. We got to talking and low and behold they live in Techachapi and participate in the Bear Valley Springs Balloon Festival each year. That is when we go up to Tehachapi and balloon for the community. They are nestled in the nook of mountains and have a car show, fireworks, arts and crafts, etc... very beautiful and a fun weekend all around! This is the picture by Dina that caught our eye!
*These two pictures are from the 2005 Bear Valley Springs 4th of July Balloonfest-
This has been a great friend to me in the mornings. It's quick and tastes great! Just enough to get me through 3rd period. I'll share my recipe with you: Brew your favorite coffee. I use a Melita Coffee pot that can brew one or two tall cups that are ready to go with you. I then grab a tall heavy plastic glass and fill it with ice all the way to the top. I sprinkle a Mocha flavored Splenda packet into the glass and add a splash of milk. Take your freshly brewed coffee and pour directly onto the ice in your plastic glass. I add a tall straw for easy drinkability. Enjoy! Warning: make sure it is done brewing before you reach in and grab it, and also DON'T use a real glass for this.
The only time I have problems is when the coffee filter gets folded up, and enough grounds get into the bottom that it makes the coffee pool up inside and nothing comes out! The first time that happened, I tapped on the coffee maker hard enough to make it come out, but then I drank coffee grounds all morning! Don't worry, I warned each of my classes so when I had black stuff between my teeth, they would give me a sign.
Grandma and Grandpa watched the kids all day Saturday so Jeff and I could go to FLABOB Airport, in Riverside, where some of the SCBA members put on the yearly Safety Seminar for ballooning. It was a good time, and we had great speakers with a yummy lunch, but it does make for a long day! Wendy Walsh, Dianna Piles and Liz Gersten all worked hard to put on a great show for us! Thanks Gals!
This is David's Potato Cannon...Yes, it really shoots potatoes- and far! It uses hair spray, yes, I said hair spray, and flint to create a combustion.
Finally got together with mom and dad! Tierney wanted to go to Red Robin, so off we went. We had a great dinner and sat and caught up on the haps. We then moved on to Costco for dessert and a quiet-er time to continue catching up! Dad shaved off his beard and mustache he has had for over 28 years! And this was 1 time I didn't have my camera! Once I got used to it, he looked pretty good. It was weird though to see no hair on his face! LOL Cope and Tierney couldn't figure out what was different on Grandpa! We got a kick out of that! Leaving you to enjoy your Friday! I can already taste my yummy iced coffee that I make each morning. I'm getting pretty good at them. Ciao baby!
Like take today...my parents are flying back into Ca. today and driving up to Palm Springs. I wished Monday and Tuesday away, because I couldn't wait for them to get here. I had pictured them coming in fresh off the plane, an easy drive up here, unpacking taking 30 minutes or so, and a jaunt over to our house for a much needed hug, glass of wine and homemade dinner. Sounds great, right? I suppose I forgot to mention that they were flying in from Australia, which is a very long flight. In reality they started flying on this trip yesterday, and continued it into today. Then waiting forever to get the million pieces of luggage they brought (6 week vacation) only to turn around and wait again to rent a car from LAX to Palm Springs. Ride in traffic all the way up here, have mounds to unload, in addition to wiping down, again (I did it yesterday), the counter tops from all the sand that blew the last 6 weeks, to being up for 36 hours with little sleep, etc.... SUUURRRRE....OF COURSE they would want to come over for dinner and a glass of wine! Well, I guess my heart was in the right place, even though I didn't think it through! (I know Erin!) Our diner plans have been postponed until tomorrow night and Cope and T will be wishing away another day until then. They have only wished away the last 6 weeks already, so what is one more day, right? (Plenty! But don't tell Grandma and Grandpa) YOU try explaining that they are too tired to come over. After I explained the WHOLE reason why, Cope didn't hesitate one second after I finished explaining only to whine, ..."WHY CANT WE SEE THEM?"..... Tierney, however, came up with a clever solution..."Mom", she said..."How about we get in the van, drive over to their motor home, and wave hi to them in the window?" "We don't have to go in. We could just talk to them through the window". I just laughed.
Did I tell you what I did Monday night? I had the pleasure of being Nedra's guest for a fancy Art Gala complete with music and dinner, and WHO do you think the guest of honor was????
None other than Carol Channing! I was floored! She walked around and visited with people and was honored for her contributions to the arts. I was so tickled I actually saw her! It was a beautiful night and dinner was fabulous! THANK YOU NEDRA!!!! XOXOXOXOXO If I don't lose weight this week for my weigh in tomorrow- it was because of that dinner and dessert! (okay, and Rowdy's brownies I ate all weekend)
Have a beautiful night! Im leaving you (only for a little while) with a quote I really like: (Thanks Orval) *Laugh when you can, apologize when you should, let go of what you can't change, kiss slowly, play hard, forgive quickly, take chances, give everything, have no regrets. Life's too short to be anything but happy.*
Here I am. Period. Right here on the computer. Right now...Here I am.
I'm not even sure where to begin-LOL...
Let me start with this past weekend where we picked up the kids from their field trip where they went to the Long Beach Aquarium. They were supposed to get back around 5:00pm, but around noon, I received a call that the one bus had been hit in the rear by a car, but that everyone was okay. I was in the middle of 6th period and almost lost it. (It was T's bus, Cope was on the 2nd bus) So we waited till about 6:00 when they showed up, all smiles. They didn't say anything about the crash, so that was a good sign. Otherwise T would have talked about it non-stop right away. At this point we had the truck loaded with the balloon, and pulling the rented motor home for the balloon camping weekend out in the Carrizo Plains- 55 miles East of San Luis Obispo. We had an ABSOLUTLY WONDERFUL weekend even though it took 5 hours to get up there, and we got into bed around 12:30 am, only to get up and to the pilots briefing at 6:30am. Ugh. Both Saturday and Sunday were FANTASTIC- and I think I owe it all to 3 VERY IMPORTANT THINGS....
Heater with automatic thermostat! Who invented this?
real pooper and shower!
a fridge! and a big one!
kitchen table to eat at
did I mention an automatic heater?
a real bed to sleep on with comfy blankets
an automatic heater
I know what you are saying....it is more than 3 things, but all of the above made the weekend so fantastic! I'm going to stop yakking, and post some pics.
Jeff ready to fly 'solo'. He flew just about an hour and 30 minutes Sat.
This is just a few of the 26 balloons from Northern Cal and Southern Cal that flew Saturday morning
Jeff's video where I challenge him to a series of "hops" for money...
This is how ALL AWESOME bonfires should be lit! (Video courtesy of Orval Choate) It is lit by using the 'burner' from a balloon (hopper, I believe) and propane.
The Yearbook has been completed! Yup, I got to push that little button that said, "PUBLISH" for the last time this year! Boy that felt good! Again I stayed after school and worked on the remaining two pages until it was done, and perfect. Then I pushed that little button.....aaahhhhhhhh....
I will also say that I COULD NOT have gotten it done without my best buddy at school-Tracy Hermann! Tracy has come to my rescue when I was so sick before and after Christmas holiday. He took over my classes, took on ASB and Yearbook, and kept everything in running order. He has been helping me from the get-go and has put alot of time and effort into the yearbook as well! He has spent the last couple of days in the computer room with me and my classes all day, just to work on the book! I cannot thank him enough! Tracy- if you read this-THANK YOU HON!
A few things going on...tomorrow is Cope and Tierney's first field trip! They are taking a big bus down to the Long Beach Aquarium! I am so bummed I can't go! They will watch a DVD going down, but I'm not sure which one. They will leave around 7:00am and return close to 5:00pm! Long Day! Then we pick them up and away we go to camp in the Carizzo Plains! I'm bushed and Ive still got some packing to do! Good Night until next week!
*Grandma and Grandpa will be coming home next week! We are so excited!!!! Mom- if you are reading this, check the news channels for airline news. They are all shutting down or going bankrupt...tons of people are stranded. Let me know if you will be affected. (Yeah, that would suck being stranded in Austraila for awhile!) LOL
Well, week isn't going so bad...my fingers are itching to get the yearbook done. Deadline was Monday and I'm still tooling at it. Ive got a friend helping, but he doesn't feel the stress as much, and is happy to help. Just not at the warp speed that I want to get this done at! LOL Ive ordered the pizza for my kids (for Friday) in anticipation of us being done and all turned in! I'm going back to school tonight to introduce myself to all the new 5th grader moms and dads. They must be so nervous coming to a 'big campus' and meeting all new people! I know I would be! I will try not to be nervous and let them know I am here to help them any way I can. Besides that, the wind had died way down, which I was hoping it would continue so we could either cancel the motor home, or take it somewhere just for us...doesn't look like that will happen now. Well, better go get ready! TaTa!
Mom says the weather has turned bad. Mom, you know what I would say to you if you were here...LOL It looks wonderful and I am not sure what they will be seeing there...I'm hoping to get a more detailed report, but I know her time is limited on the computer. I'm hoping they bring me back some sand from each place they go! (Hint, Hint) Have fun Mom and Dad! http://www.verygc.com
I didn't write yesterday because I was ABSOLUTELY exhausted. I went to bed at 7:00pm! Those of you who know me, I don't go to bed until 11:30pm or later! I had a raging headache and couldn't function. Yearbook was due Monday, and I didn't make that deadline. My new goal is by Friday. I got alot done today by myself and hope I can have it all done and out of my hair by Friday! Yeah! This Friday we leave for Hot Air Balloon Camping! I can't wait! I need to get away! I'm hoping it will not be windy, as it has been for the last couple of days. Keep your fingers crossed! Not much else is new...not sure if I will lose any weight this week. I got "Aunt Edna' and have been very munchie lately! LOL Ive tried to stay munching on the Nutrisystem for most of it. I faltered a little over the weekend and am now back on. (That kettle corn at the art festival was too hard to not eat!) LOL Some good news though: I can fit easily into my jean shorts that were VERY TIGHT on me! I can even wear a belt again! I'm so happy that all the food I've had! It has been really good- especially the desserts/snacks!
Well, lots of catching up to do with all of our wonderful company. In fact it was such good company I didn't even have withdrawals from not blogging! LOL
Thursday and Friday (Day 28 & 29 )
Aunt Kathy Branconier and Teresa come out to visit us late Thursday night. Cope and T tried to stay awake, but they fell fast asleep after Jamie and Bobby's visit the day before. The adults stayed up talking and went to bed around 11:00pm. Up at 5:30am and out the door by 7:00 while we tried to be quiet and not wake our company. School went well and back home by 5:00 for me (earlier for Jeff and the kids). Aunt Kathy and Teresa went to the outlet mall all day and we were treated to a fashion show when they got home...and even a present from Teresa for each of them! Off to Islands for dinner and Jeff went to his softball game. We had a great time at dinner and came home and relaxed! It was wonderful!
Here we are at Island's enjoying a great meal.
Saturday (Day 30)
Ahhhhhh...Jeff and I slept in until 9:00am and everyone else was up by then. Such a beautiful night and morning with all windows and sliders open...a cool fresh breeze woke us up at 9:00am. We don't get those too often, so it really felt heavenly. Continuing with a nice relaxing morning and pretty soon the girls donned their suits and off they went onto their next leg of their journey Marriott style! Showered and dressed, the four of us headed off to the Indian Wells Arts Festival where my class had entered an art competition using recycled bicycle parts. We walked around and I was impressed, not only with the art show, but also the tennis gardens. There were many great artists there with paintings, sculptures, jewelry, clothes, iron work, water features and much more. Great musicians were all around, as well as food vendors. It was a great day and we found the sculpture...wow! It was in a class all by itself, whereas the other bikes looked like bikes... We couldn't tell if they had been judged yet, so Ill ask on Monday. It looked really great though! Here is our project:While we were there, I developed really bad allergies, and was completely miserable. Have you ever felt like you needed to sneeze and it wouldn't let you? I was in a perpetual state of needing to sneeze and I couldn't! My eyes were half closed, in anticipation of the sneeze. My nose also itched, I really couldn't tell where exactly, but the whole thing itched inside, and my eyes felt as big as golf balls...When we got home, I took some medicine and by the time we went to pick up Abby and Jimmy T, I had fallen asleep on the couch, and was groggy and grumpy the whole rest of the day...ugh. I'm worried I'm developing really bad allergies. Well, smiles on and trying to only be grumpy to Jeff (haha), we took the kids home, played in the toyroom, and went out for pizza. After pizza, we thought we'd drive by the movie theater to see what was playing. Alvin and the Chipmunks! So at 7:30, we all piled into the theater, picked out our candy, and enjoyed the movie. A quick trip to McDonald's afterwards for an ice cream, and we were all ready for bed when we got home! They were so cute sleeping together that I had to snap their picture...
Sunday (Day 31) We woke up at 7:22 am on Sunday, (today) ...did I say 'we'?? I mean the kids.... we could heard them playing all over the house and I eventually got up around 9:00am... Jeff got up earlier and woke me up so I could make breakfast...LOL So, pancakes were requested and pancakes I made! They all got to add what they wanted to them (sorry Jim!) and they gobbled them up... Here is our yummy breakfast! LOL We them got dressed after playing all morning and went out to lunch. (At this point it seemed like all we did was constantly eat!) Asking Abby what she wanted to eat for lunch, she said, "Chicken noodle soup". I had to laugh and asked, "If you couldn't have that, what would be your next choice?" "Split Pea Soup", she said. After thinking hard about where we could go that would have that, I asked her,"Where do you and your dad usually get that?" ..."From a can", she said...(Insert Homer Simpson-Duh) So.... the next unanimous place to eat was Panda Express, and after that...the park! The kids played off all the food we ate these past two days and had a great time. Jim called and off we went back home to get the kids back to him. Abby and Jimmy T are now on spring break so they will have a nice relaxing week. I suppose things will be slow from now until summer as school is back on until then. I'm looking forward to it, but the company all week was just wonderful! This weekend we will be in the Carrizo Plains dry camping and ballooning. Ill talk more about that tomorrow...Im bushed and Star Wars is on and I'm trying to learn this all over again! :) Talk more later!
Yesterday afternoon Erin, Robb and the kids arrived at our house for a quick over-nighter. They just got back into the US at around 11:00 am or so...they had been touring New Zealand for the past 6 weeks while traveling in a motor home in order to travel all over- How cool would that be? As soon as they walked in, (4:00pm) I got a big hug from everyone, especially Jamie and Bobby, and Robb proclaimed, "I'm bushed. I going to take a little nap". At 7:00pm, Erin had to wake him up....he was so tired! It was a wonderful visit and I finally shared a glass of wine with my sister for the first time since Christmas! (We have these 1 day a week "girls talk" where we talk and sip our wine) Jillian was OF COURSE adorable and all the kids were so big! The kids played with every toy in the toyroom, and then watched a movie, while the adults sat around after dinner at the table talking. We were told several times to 'be quiet" so they could hear the movie! Imagine! LOL We celebrated Robb and Jamie's birthday with a cake and sang Happy Birthday. Dinner consisted of a huge tri-tip roast, steamed cauliflower, mixed salad, and fresh cut strawberries, honeydew and cantaloupe. Homemade brushettea started us off before the roast was done. We were all full and sat an talked for hours....what a great way to end the day! All the kids were going to sleep with Cope and T, and it started out great except they all played in the bedroom with all the toys they brought in there. Pretty soon Bobby and Jamie came out and started playing in the hallway. I went to check on Cope and T, and they were both fast asleep! Too bad I couldn't take the next day off...but we all still had a great time! (In case you are wondering, I did have 3 pieces of sourdough bread with brushetta, and a glass of wine which was not on my plan, but nocake!) _________________________________________________________________ Tonight Dad went to his baseball game, so I cooked mac and cheese for the kids. For myself I made Florentine sauce with chicken fettuccine and as I was pulling it out of the micro, T said, "Oh! What is that? It smells good!" I said, "That is my dinner-Florentine sauce with chicken fettuccine". "Is that on your diet?", she asked slyly. "Yes, it is silly", I replied. "Okay, just checking mom", and off she went to eat her dinner! __________________________________________________________________ We have two big treats coming up! First one is Aunt Kathy Branconier is coming to visit us with Teresa (also known as 'T') tomorrow night, and staying until Friday morning! We will go out to dinner Friday night and I cant wait! One less night I have to cook! Then Jimmy just called (my brother) , and Abby and Jimmy T will come out Saturday and stay with us all Saturday and Sunday! Yeah!!! The kids can't believe their luck! Three sets of cousins in a week! They are overjoyed and can hardly stand it! They will be soooo tired come Monday! LOL Too bad we can't take any time off! __________________________________________________________________ This weekend is the Indian Wells Arts Festival!!!! My mosaic class entered an art contest put on by the Scrap Gallery- it is a recycle project using a bicycle! We mosaic'd it in mirrors and I cant wait to see it! Ill be taking pictures of it for you to see! The winners will get their art displayed somewhere in the Coachella Valley permanently! I hope that we really win! We have worked hard on it, thanks to Nedra Young and Jennifer Johnson! Nedra and Jennifer are our inspirational mosaic artists! They have been volunteering their time and materials to come into my classroom twice a week to create projects!