Monday, June 22, 2015

Yea.. Now Answer Me The This... it's back!

So I have been silent forever... and that's okay.  I am not much of a blogger but I do enjoy writing. I've come to realize that I love "playing along" with other blogger's weekly challenges or questions.. but I am not one much to sit down and create something on my own.

I will admit I am partly insecure about what I have to share so using someone else's platform helps.

Anyway... I was thrilled to see that Kendra, one of my favorite and most inspiring bloggers, has brought back "Now Answer Me This..." for the summer.   Yea and thanks Kendra!!

1.  What's the best thing about your dad?

What a great question!!  My dad is great.  He's a fix-it sort of man but he's soft hearted.
The best thing-- I would have said his work ethic... but now seeing him as a Grandpa I'd have to say his ability to love and embrace the moment.  My children adore him... and I adore watching them all together.

My dad has always had motorcycles.  He's now more of a four-wheeled ATV guy (safety first).

A family pic from this summer.

2.  If you've got kids, what's the best thing about their dad?

John is a great dad.  He's all-hands-on.  He is willing to step out of himself to have fun and make the kids laugh.  While he sets limits, he also is fun.  I think the best thing about him is his ability to love them whole hardheartedly in the moment (hmmm... strangely similar to what I wrote about my own dad!!)

Here's a picture from Friday evening at our co-op end of the year party.  Besty wanted to dance.. so he danced... :)

And an all time favorite pic... the girls insisted Daddy would get cold so he is wearing on of their hats.  He wore it around the block on a walk and didn't care that he looked silly.  Love that man.

3.  What's the best advice your dad has ever given you?

Best advice has been more of a lifestyle.  My parents chose not to live beyond their means.  My dad set examples of making modest choices.  His examples have bled into who I am now and the choices we make.  It's not always easy or fun but modest living is the right way in my opinion and I thank my dad for teaching me to not go into debt "just because I need ____".

4.  What's something you have in common with your dad?

My mom would say it's definitely that we are thinkers... we both dwell on decisions and think them over and over before acting.  I wouldn't say that's a bad thing.. it's just what we do.

oh, and the love of a good yard sale :)

5.  What's the manliest thing you know how to do?

Hmmm... ride a motorcycle??  I started young. I don't ride one now but I could if I needed to ride one.  I also drive a stick shift and can drive an H-column stick shift.

So I searched for a pic of me on a "50" motorcycle. I was four.  I can't believe I rode at four... my four year old isn't even riding a bike yet.  Alas I couldn't find it but I did find a pic of my dad driving our old Bronco and Toyota... both H-columns.. so that'll have to do (plus this is a Father's Day edition!)

6.  Who's your favorite fictional dad?

Toss up here-- from year's past, Charles Ingalls. He reminds me of my dad.  Hard working and full of wisdom.

And a more modern man/husband/dad is Adam Braverman from Parenthood.  I love the balance of his character.  I see a lot of my own husband in his character.  

Have a good week!!  (and countdown to Edel starts now!!)

Friday, January 9, 2015

Seven Quick Takes

I've not blogged since August... but really I am not a blogger. I wish I was... but it just isn't in my daily schedule.

Seven Quick Takes December Style.

1.  Mary Jane's birthday is in early December.  We celebrated St. Nicolas day with fun goodies in our shoes (no pics).. and then had a day of fun at home.  Friends came over and we made sugar cookies (emphasis on the sugar!) and played with our bunnies... and overall just had a fun time celebrating four!

2.  On Mary Jane's actual birthday, she enjoyed all the joys of opening presents.  But her favorite present had to be her very own sleeping bag.  She and Betsy loved to snuggle.  It's amazing how snuggily they can be and how quickly that all shifts.  <sigh>

3.  Fast forward to closer to Christmas (we are missing pics from our Christmas tea, our Jesse tree, our Christmas tree... see I am not a blogger!)...  We headed East to celebrate Christmas with my parents.  They live in Arizona on a large plot of land.  That means lots of dirt, bike riding, and fun rides on ATVs and Grandpa's tractor.

4.  Christmas Eve ended with reading "The Night Before Christmas..."  I am not crazy about Santa Claus... but he visits.  And the girls love it.  

5.  Fast forward to Christmas morning.... Mama... I mean Santa had a great idea.  Single serving cereal in the stocking!  That meant we could open stockings and have a quick but fun breakfast and head to Mass.  It worked brilliantly... everyone was happy (well that may be an exaggeration... but it worked!)

6.  And they kids had a lovely set of new gifts.  Several, like this bouncy house, will stay at Grandma's house.  They loved it.  Aunt Lisa gave it to them.... she got it used (!) from her coworker.  What a fun treat.  And Jack loved it too.  He would giggle and flop around as the girls bounced and bounce.  The other big hit was a new scooter for each girl.  They have mastered it.. so much I am nervous! 

7.  And as we typically do, we ended the year back in Los Angeles celebrating with John's dad who turned 82 on NYE!  Thanks to my father-in-law, we always have NYE plans... lunch at Polly's Pie followed by bowling.  And let me say.... my 82 FIL bowled better than most of the people in attendance!

Happy 2015! 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Answer Me This....

I really like Answer Me This... Thanks Kendra for posting questions.

A quick "Did You Know"-- When John and I first started dating, we did Five Questions on a regular basis.  We were both at desks for part of the day and several times a week, we'd send random questions.  Sometimes the questions were fluff... and sometimes they were thoughtful.  I do miss that part of dating... but I so am glad I am on this side of dating :)

1. What is your favorite room in the house?

Does outside count as a room?  I am an outdoor person. 

I like my home. It's comfy and cozy... I recently decided to put aside my desires for cute and cottage-y for workable and convininet.  Therefore, on our painted antique hutch, we have a basket of bibs, a bowl of bows, and colored pencils.  Utilitarian is a must right now :)

2. Do you subscribe to any magazines or other periodicals?

I use to subscribe to a ton of mags.... and newspapers.  But now I can barely read books and blogs... so I have cut back.  I get my mom's copy of Real Simple which I love.  And I get my own copy of Sunset Magazine... that's a fabulous mag IMO.

3. How do you feel about the sign of peace in Mass? Enriching? Awkward? Overdone? Just right? Some combination of the above.

I loved reading about this last week.  John and I went to mass alone yesterday and had a post-mass discussion.  He thought it was just silly to question it... I totally get it but think it can be reigned in at times.

What I do love about it... It is a great tool to teach for toddlers... for us, it was the first real connection I felt they had to mass (aside from being blessed during communion.)

4. What is your least favorite sound?

Oh, my dear Betsy... love her to pieces but she wears her feelings on her sleeve... and they tend to come out vocally.  Her crying is tough on me.  She is a whiner and crier... and she's happier and expresses joy openly.  I am thankful that she is such a happy girl. It's the ointment for my ears after hearing her penetrating cries.  

Non-child noises-- the quite sound of dry hands on paper bags. Uck!

5. What was your favorite TV show (or shows) growing up?

I was a huge lover of old shows like Leave it to Beaver and I Love Lucy.  My mom would watch them with me and I loved it.  I also loved Little House on the Prarie.  I may have been that strange kid that wore a bonnet all of third grade when I wasn't at school ;)

6. What are your favorite TV shows now?

  • Amazing Race (satisfies my travel bug)
  • Next Food Network Star (satisfies my whimsical cooking)
  • Downton Abbey
  • Sherlock
  • Community (what a smart comedy for geeks and nerds like John and me!)
Have a wonderfully calm week!

PS-  Baby Jack turned one year old on Saturday!  He's such a good baby... oh, how I'd like another one.... St William of Rochester, pray for us.  St. Antohony of Padua, pray for us... and for our baby Jack's namesake saint, St. John-Charles Cornay, Pray for Us.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Answer Me This...

Answer Me This... also known as the only time I take to sit and write something on this blog...

1. What do you still want to do this summer?

That list is a long one...

We knocked one off this weekend-- we went to the Natural History Museum to look at Dinosaur Bones... we couldn't get in to see the butterflies and that's okay... the girls were amazed at the bird eggs.  Go figure... tiny little eggs and giant eggs.  

Unfortunately John goes back to teaching this week so our summer is sort of over.  We still want a beach day (we live a mile away and only make quick stops.. I want a nice afternoon.)  Swimming at the public pool but we need a babysitter since it's we are outnumbered by our little people by one (and pools require 1 x 1 adult supervision.)   We also want to go to a small local amusement park geared to children under 6.  Unfortunately the prices are higher than I remembered... I just don't see blowing $100 for a Merry-Go-Round.

2. What's your favorite kind of pie?

Easy... berry pies!!  Yummmm!!  I took a peach pie to a 4th of July party and had the best comments--- "Best pie ever" said my SIL and nephew.

3. How much sleep do you need each day? How much do you get?

I need a good seven hours.  Eight is great but seven is my magic number.


4. Do you prefer to swim in a pool, lake, river, or ocean?

Swimming pool!  I love swimming... and I am most comfortable in a pool. I was a lifeguard in HS and a bit in college.  Also taught swim lessons for years.  I am so glad my girls are getting comfortable swimming.  I am contemplating Fall swim lessons and/or a pass to our local university pool so we can swim into the warm Fall months.

5. Do you know any poems by heart?

Um... do nursery rhymes count?!    
In all seriousness, I want to memorize e.e. cummings "I Carry Your Heart".  It became a poem that unites us to our children's birth moms.  

6. Do you use the public library?

I am terrible about returning things on time.

There, I said it.

In theory I love the library but I am a bad patron.  Well, maybe I am a good patron since they make money off of me.

I grew up going to the library so I want to become a library mom as my children get older.  

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Answer me this....

1. When driving, are you more likely to listen to the radio, to CDs or an iPod, or nothing at all?

Talk radio.  If I am driving "Mama Car" aka our family car I listen to the Catholic Channel.  I am sometimes blessed with Cardinal Dolan.  Normally it's just pure entertainment from The Catholic Guy, Lino Rulli, or Broken Halo with Father Dave Dwyer.  Both shows have me laughing.

If I am in a commute car w/o Sirius radio, I'll listen to all sorts of talk.  My favorite, though, is Dave Ramsey. I get so excited as I hear families get out of financial debt.  Totally inspires me to be thrifty!

2. Do you prefer window or aisle?

The answer to this one depends on the type of flight.
International-- a window seat so I can sleep.  
Short domestic flights-  aisle for quick access out.

3. Do you fall asleep on your side, back, or stomach? What position are you in when you wake up?
I tend to fall asleep on my back and wake up on my side.

4. When is the last time you attended a zoo, circus, carnival, county fair, or parade?
Zoo-  a year ago.  We had membership for a year and would regularly go.  Sort of miss it and debating whether it's a good investment or not.

5. Do you have a favorite quote or inspirational saying?
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” 
― Plato

6. What's the best thing about summer?
Watermelon :)  Love everything watermelon.
Oh, and swimming.  Is there really anything better than a swim on a hot day?
I have friends that won't swim because they won't get in a suit.  Psssh!!  I'm chunky and out of shape looking but I love swimming with my children.

Monday, June 23, 2014

little Happies!

In my quest to blog/write more, I am linking up with Stephanie at Blessed to Be and sharing my week's little happies.  By the way-- I love the name "little happies".  Isn't that what life's all about??

1.  Stephanie's love of her Vera Bradley blanket made me realize that my Aden and Anais Day Dream blanket definitely is a little happy!  A+A blankets are big in our house... we probably have a dozen of them to swaddle and then to lovey with... they remain our favorites.  When I heard from a friend that they make an adult size bamboo dream blanket, I had to have it... and wow!! It's wonderful.

It is that cool and light and makes me think of summer nights or afternoon naps after reading a good book. 
My mom made me laugh when she pointed out I have no time for reading or naps... so I could simply go by and touch it for a quick fix of what it would feel like to have frivolous time :)

2.  Hearing my Mary Jane sing Tom T Hall's Sneaky Snake is definitely a little happy.  As a child of the 70s, I grew up camping and listening to Tom T. Hall's children's songs.  I'd completely forgotten about them but then my aunt sent me the CD.  Oh, my... so fun!!  And Mary Jane has the cutest little determined voice as she sings!  

3.  Okay, so this is a bit lame... but I gave up cream in coffee last year.  So my little happy today is that I stopped and got half and half, and I am treating myself to a delicious cup of rich and sweet coffee.  Sometime removing something from our diet makes it even better when it returns!

4.  I watched this video last night.. definitely gave me pause to think about lots of things.  Definitely a little happy that I wish more Catholics would reflect on... I sent it to three people... won't you??

I don't know if I'll make changes after watching the video but the ideas definitely resonated with me. 

5.  My last little happy-- a new hint-- chew gum while cutting onions and you won't cry (much).  It works... not 100% but a little happy worth sharing.


Sunday, June 22, 2014

Answer Me This.....

I love Kendra at Catholic All Year.  I especially love that she's a SoCal Catholic blogger since it seems like a small circle.t +

I am linking up with her weekend link up-  Answer Me This...

1.  When's the last time you got a new bathing suit?
I actually bought a swim dress at Walmart the last time I was in Arizona.  For whatever reason, Walmarts in CA are awful!!!  But my mom's Walmart has all sorts of fun things... including this modest suit:

Most of my suits for the last ten years have been Land's End suits... it was nice to buy a "cheap" suit for a change.. and not drop $100...

2.  Who made the last incoming call on your phone?
My mom!  My parents just returned from driving from AZ to Seattle to see my cousin graduate from Seattle Pacific University... yes the Seattle Pacific U where a shooter made the news recently.  I am so thankful my cousin wasn't on campus and was safe at home.  Terrible...

3.  If you receive communion, do you receive it in the hands or on the tongue? 
No set answer here... it depends on where my children are.. often times I am carrying someone and so the tongue is easiest.  Other times I am wrangling someone and it's easier in the hands.  At this point, I am glad to receive it... one way or the other.. but I do see how I feel as if it's a more intimate experience taking it directly into my mouth.

4.  Do you have a tattoo? 
My first response... NO WAY... but then I remembered... I have tattoo marks from radiation therapy... so if they count, I have what seems to be a tiny constellation of stars tattooed on my back neck.  I am a cancer rebel that way :)

5.  How many plates are in your home?

I am only going to guess..
We have switched to a Melmac type everyday plates with photos of the girls.  Makes it easy to eat outside which we love doing.  We have eight of those plates.

We have probably ten (had 12) plates from Crate and Barrel  They were an every day simple French Country design.  I still love them but they aren't sold anymore.

We have a setting of twelve of our wedding china... Wedgewood India. I love it but we don't use it often.

And then we have lots of odds and end china from my Mother In Law.  I love it.. it's special to me but I don't know anything about it.  

6.  Do you have an accent?
I am a CA girl... I don't think I have an accent :)
But I do think I have a distinct cadence as I speak.