Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006

The annual Christmas morning photo! We also took pictures
with the pets, but all three would not cooperate at the same
time so they didn't make the final cut.

Sam with his favorite toy: Bionicle!

Ana's still not too old to enjoy getting STUFF!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve

Sam had 3 Advent calendars and made the most of them!

The family tradition from Mike's family is to open one gift
on Christmas Eve. It must be a gift that arrived in the mail.

Friday, December 22, 2006


Aunt JoAnn and Ana sporting new hairstyles.
One of many fun challenges from the game Survivor.

Sam and Delaney in their new "clothes". Again,
created by other tribe members in a Survivor challenge.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Jingle Jog

Cousin Delaney (on left) was still in school during
our Christmas vacation so Ana & Sam joined her
at school for her Jingle Jog. It was a 2 mile fun
run (doesn't sound fun to me!) and the kids had
a great time. They were treated to popsicles
after the race. Seems to me hot chocolate would
have been a better choice. It wasn't exactly warm.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

This time it's real

Notice the green light.
I should be going!

My last photo of a palm tree with snow was stolen off the internet. These two photos were taken right outside my house. It snowed overnight and actually hung around until morning for everyone to see.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The List

A friend "stole" this from another blog. An interesting list of life events. Of course, it has taken forever for me to post since I have to comment on everything!

Green is for "been there, done that"
Red is for "cold day in hell" - and I’m really busy that day!
Blue is for "I’d give that a try"

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid (does the Luxor Las Vegas count?)
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone (not on purpose, but the kids wouldn’t stay out)
08. Said "I love you" and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea (makes the ship rock - YUCK!)
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights (I vaguely remember that as a kid)
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa (is there an elevator?)
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg (before they melt. Watch "An Inconvenient Truth")
19. Slept under the stars (Think "poor kids, camper" - we didn’t all fit inside)
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon (France would be a good place to do this)
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight (food was a precious commodity - we didn’t waste it by throwing)
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight (grew up in Montana)
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb (not after seeing the farmer reach in after it!! GROSS!!!)
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run (played baseball one summer - batting average: .000)
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer (what’s a hard drive? Driving seems easy to me)
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends (still do!)
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales (didn’t set out to, but there they were!)
45. Stolen a sign (that’s illegal!)
46. Backpacked in Europe (okay, suitcases, but still low budget)
47. Taken a road-trip (many times)
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving (a tandem jump would be fun - maybe when I’m 50)
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero (I have a son)
58. Sung karaoke (not in public)
59. Lounged around in bed all day (too boring)
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving (I hate being underwater)
62. Kissed in the rain (Hello!!! Lived in Oregon for more than 20 years)
63. Played in the mud (see comment at #62)
64. Played in the rain (see comment at #62)
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business (bad idea)
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken (married to my love for 20 years)
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class (black belt test is March 2, 2007)
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party (not on purpose - ended up with a German tourist group in France)
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch (did that today)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice (not even at the Venetian Las Vegas)
80. Gotten a tattoo (gotta get that one past hubby first)
81. Rafted the Snake River (not the Snake, but others)
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas (did this today, too. It’s only 3 miles away just across Eastern Ave)
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date (yeah, but the date lasted 3 days AND I married him)
89. Gone to Thailand (missed my best opportunity when my brother lived there)
90. Bought a house (three of them)
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents (they’re still alive and resist my efforts :) )
93. Been on a cruise ship (three of these, as well)
94. Spoken more than one language fluently (Ig-pay atlin-lay?)
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (Raising)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country (maybe France after the balloon)
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge (Driven both ways several times. Walk? Uhh, no!)
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking (daily)
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived (let’s hear it for seatbelts)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback (I don’t get this one)
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart (every teenager has)
111. Helped an animal give birth (see # 32 above. Eww, Eww, Ewe (this was on purpose)
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (more than once! OUCH!)
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery (does cutting my foot open and breaking bones count?)
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon (the top is nice)
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents (this used to be a goal but I don’t like the cold-no Antarctica)
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days (this would involve camping)
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Para-sailed (but not in Mexico)
132. Touched a cockroach (I pay someone to KILL them)
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author whom you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream (everyday!)
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts (that’s what husbands are for)
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head (no, but I would. It’s just hair and it grows back.)
149. Caused a car accident (been in a few, not my fault, mostly)
150. Saved someone’s life (yes, my beloved, who was choking. REALLY SCARY!)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Not MY Pets!

My pets don't like each other this much! I thought this was
funny so here it is for your viewing pleasure.

Friday, November 17, 2006

As promised

The weather outside has dropped to 53 degrees which is DARN COLD when you live in Southern Nevada. It's a frosty 56 degrees inside the house (might be time to check the amount of insulation in our tract house) so I did it for the first time this season: I turned on the furnace. On October 2, I promised a post to commemorate this auspicious occasion. Here it is, as promised!

I cheated! This palm tree is not
in Las Vegas but I couldn't find
a picture of snow on the Strip,
although that has happened.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Too Good to be True
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

How lucky are the rest of you? More than one of me? Yikes!!!
I "borrowed" this from the blog of my friend Laurie in Oregon. Thanks, Laurie.

Ran the same search for Ana...she's an original!!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Happy 10th Birthday, Sam!

Sam is a whole decade old today. For his birthday dinner, we went out to The Elephant Bar at the District at Green Valley Ranch. The trees are all lit and it is a lovely place to take a stroll. Sadly, no one would stroll with me because it was a little chilly (by Southern Nevada standards) and the only one wearing a sweater was ME! Poor, dear child. His (loser) mother forgot to make his birthday cake. We came home and opened presents and THEN I made the cake. We ate it on Saturday after dinner. Happy Birthday, Sam. We all now have double digit ages. It will be 57 years until that is not the case in our family - when Mike turns 100!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


After school today Sam carved his pumpkin.

Our first stop prior to Trick-or-Treating was
to go to the church carnival with our friends.
Sam did quite a number on poor Tweety. Look
closely in the background at his poor head still
hanging from a string waiting to be bashed yet
again! Poor bird didn't stand a chance!!

Kids in costumes

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Danny Gans Run for Children's Charities

The beginning of the race. Sam is in blue sweat pants just behind the girl in green
Midway thru the race (out in front of his group). This was as close as I could get cutting across the middle of the course before he ran away!
After the race...Sam collapsed in the grass with his yellow popsicle stick which he later traded for a medal. Medals were awarded to the top 10 finishers in each grade, Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. Great Job, Sam!!!

After the race, the festivities included bounce houses, a giant slide (above), free food and drinks, raffle prizes (didn't win a thing!) and the Champions Run for Life.

The weather was Southern Nevada perfect (around 70 degrees) and Sam and I had a good time. Ana was scheduled to run but her bed (7:30am start) and a play date (do you call it that when they're 13?) with a friend won out in the end.

One of the charities which benefited from the proceeds was the John C. Vanderburg Rainforest Biosphere. This is the school the kids used to attend.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

He touches the ball

Proof that Sam (#11) actually touches the ball while playing soccer and still takes time to smile at his mom who is taking pictures.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


Tuesday, October 17, 2006


You Passed 8th Grade Math

Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!

I guess all this homeschooling is paying off (even though we're only doing 5th grade math!) At least I'm doing something half way constructive as I sit here at my computer while Sam is behind me doing long division.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Akeelah and the Bee

Just watched Akeelah and the Bee with Sam and Mike. I really enjoyed this movie. I got it from Netlfix because Sam and I talked about it last year when he was in his Middle School Spelling Bee. (Keep in mind that Sam was in the third grade at the time.) I think the best lesson that I was able to share with Sam tonight during this movie is that just because two people of the opposite gender come together, form a close relationship and fulfill a need for each other does not mean they need to be romantically involved. Out of all the wonderful lessons in this movie including overcoming stereotypes, pleasing others instead of achieving something for yourself, accomplishing goals and persevering in the face of great odds, being "good friends" with someone of the opposite gender was the most important point to me.

Friday, October 13, 2006

The Newest Black Belt in the "Family"

On Friday, October 13, 2006, our friend and classmate, Niki earned her black belt in Chun Kuk Do. Ana was her partner for testing which mostly means Niki got to beat her up for fun!! Here is a picture of them after the test.

There are fewer than 3000 black belts
in Chun Kuk Do so this is quite an honor.

A HUGE congratulations to Niki for a job well done.

My turn March 2007.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


In my last post I mentioned that I can never find my cat, Magic. Today, I found him!! He sleeps in Ana's room. For any of you who know her well that will explain why I couldn't find him. Here he is (also not dead, only happy.)


Monday, October 09, 2006

They're not DEAD!

This is my Chihuahua, Gizmo. He is not dead, only happy.

This is my cat, Guinness. He is not dead, only happy.

This is NOT my cat, Magic. I can never find him when he is asleep. He's usually hiding in a closet or behind furniture somewhere. I know he is not dead because he shows up to eat.

This is how they spend the majority of their day. I wish I could join them.

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Again with the rain? What is the deal here? I'm starting to dread the words "Upper Level Low" since that is what meteorologists say when the rain is coming. See the big L right at the tip of Southern Nevada? Bad, Bad, Bad. As I've often told my children, "If you can't say something about the weather."

Friday, October 06, 2006

Ask, and you shall receive...

I complained about using the A/C and look what I got!! A great big, green streak over Las Vegas. It's rained so much in the last couple of days I feel like I'm in Oregon again. Happily, the sun is shining again today and it is currently 70 degrees. This is why I live in Southern Nevada. For everyone in Oregon...I hope you're jealous. Please come for a visit (and stay at a hotel on The Strip, not at my house!)

Monday, October 02, 2006

I'm sick of A/C!!

This weekend the temperature neared 100 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday. It's October in Southern Nevada! My favorite month of the year precisely because it's supposed to be around 80 degrees everyday. I have a real problem with my air conditioner running in October. The alternative, of course, is to be miserable in the heat. Ana and Sam both had soccer games at around 2:00 in the afternoon. Nice and toasty warm! Luckily, there was a nice breeze blowing so it was bearable. The forecast is looking much better for the rest of the week so OFF goes the A/C. I try not to turn the heat on until late December or even January, but since we homeschool and are here all day, we usually have to break down and heat the place. This was Sam last November during school. I broke down (or into my wallet) and turned on the heat. I'll do a post on the first day I have to turn on the heater.

Friday, September 22, 2006

The Devil's Work?

Highly Skilled Air Traffic Controller

My religious training ended too many years ago for me to remember the exact saying but it is something to the effect of "idle hands doing the devil's work." I have decided that is the devil's work. I spend too much idle time watching videos there and what's worse is that so many other people have enough idle time to post videos there. That having been said, this one is my favorite.

Monday, September 18, 2006

I Can't Wait!

After a 9 month break following surgery on my foot, I get to start training in karate again tonight! I can't wait!!


Saturday, September 09, 2006

Happy Anniversary!

Is it possible these two "youngsters" have been married for 20 years? Not quite yet! However, our 20th wedding anniversay is on Wednesday, Sept 13, 2006. To celebrate, we went out to dinner. For reasons I'm not quite clear on, Mike wanted to take the children. We went to Carrabba's Italian Grill. The atmosphere was nice, the food was good and the children were mostly well behaved. Dessert was fantastic. It was a Sogno di Cioccloata or "Chocolate Dream". Here's looking forward to the next 20 years. Happy Anniversary.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

My New Favorite Quote

Hope is not a plan.



Thursday, August 31, 2006


Little by little, one walks far.

Peruvian Proverb


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First Day of School

Can you guess which child goes to public school and which one is home-schooled? Hint: The snappy dresser hangs out with 1800 other teenagers all day!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Meth Madness

I stumbled across a blog in the middle of the night a few weeks ago that I find rather interesting. I have no idea who writes it but it's rather like "watching" a reality show. The author is unable to work due to a chronic illness involving substantial daily pain and is often up late at night writing her blog. That is how I found her. I was up in the middle of the night updating my blog. Recently she put up a link on the effects of methamphetamine. Check out the picture gallery. Ana is already anti-drug but these pictures really drove home how fast the devastation occurs with the use of illegal drugs. I guess they are illegal for a reason!

Monday, August 28, 2006

Does she look older?

She's still a lovely girl - even though she is old!!!

Saturday, August 26, 2006

My "Baby" is a Teenager!!!

On Sunday, August 27, 2006, my "baby" will turn thirteen years old. ( old does that make her mother?) We went to Claim Jumper for lunch and they treated her to a free Mud Pie for dessert. We were all too full to eat any other dessert so we will do a chocolate "I'Declair" later with presents. Happy Birthday, Ana!


Sam's First Sleepover at Our House

Sam had his first sleepover at our house on Friday night. He and his friend, Grant, moved all the furniture out of the office, set up the airmatresses and moved the playstation into the room. Rumor has it there was SOME sleeping going on, but not much. The playstation got a really good work out. They both had a great time!


Hero - an update

Someone asked who my heroes are. That was easy for me. My first hero is my husband, Mike, who fits every description on the list. He's always right here cheering me on in whatever I do. My second hero is my karate instructor (you know who you are). Were it not for his guidance there were many times I would have quit karate because it was just too hard to do on a regular basis, especially with my body falling apart like it is. Ultimately, I decided to keep going from green belt because I didn't want to disappoint any of my instructors who have worked so hard keeping me going over the last five years. Now that I'm really close to black belt I keep going for me with the encouragement of all of them.

Friday, August 25, 2006


Someone we admire.
Someone we look up to.
Someone who gives us hope.
Not a myth or an icon or a legend-
Someone solid, genuine and real.
An ordinary person who does extraordinary things.
A hero picks us up when we are down.
Believes in us before we believe in ourselves.
Inspires us to expand and embrace what’s possible.
Helps us realize that we can be heroes too.

I know who my heroes are - do you?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

The Return of the Beard

This is the beard after one week. Looking scruffy and still too prickly to kiss!!! I'll give it a few more days to get soft.