Friday, June 29, 2012

Sneak Peek of our Raffle Quilt

This year, as part of our "bigger" raffle prizes that we were be offering a hand made quilt made by my wonderful mother in law, Sally Pletcher.  She lovingly put this quilt together and it is utterly amazing.  I have never seen a quilt so well done.  It also had a very unique machine quilted top that turned out beautiful.

I had her take some pictures so that you could see it, but wait until you see it in person.  And if you can't join us on August 25th, and would like to bid on this little beauty, let me know!  You don't have to be there to bid and to win!!  Tickets are $5/each.


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Family week

This week my parents are visiting.  They are staying for a week - through Finley's birthday.  It will be nice to have the company and help with the kids.  It will get us through until camps start, which will be good.  We have some fun things planned, but of course I am putting them to work for awhile.  I will probably be a sporatic blogger while they are here, but I promise to update while I can!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Crossing the country in a Kia Sephia

When I am in the garden, it is my time to think.
Well, that is if I am ALONE in the garden and there isn't a child asking for a snack, or a dog digging a hole.

Today while I was gardening, I took pictures of the most recent flowering plants.  Slowly but surely everything is starting to bloom.  Good thing because I was getting a little bit impatient.

While I was out there, a cross country trip that Mat and I took ins 2001 came to mind.  It was probably the best and most disastrous trip he and I have taken in our 21 years together.

Mat and I have lived in 9 residences, and 6 states.  And in that time we have had 3 children, 2 dogs and ZERO sanity.

That trip was before kids.  It was just he and I.  We were moving from Baltimore to San Diego where he was going to do his post-doctoral work.  It was right after 9/11 and we were both scared and excited about the move.  Moving 3000 miles away from a place we lived for 4 years and away from our family was going to be tough.

I cried a lot.
We made a 3 week trip across the county in our one and only car - a Kia Sephia.  This was a great little car, but now that we are older and wiser, I don't recommend driving over 3000 miles in a small car packed to the brim with stuff you didn't trust the movers with.

We had a lot of fun.  The trip was in November, and it started out cold, but as we traveled across the bottom of the United States, we were able to enjoy warm sun and pleasant weather.  We listened to books on CD as we traveled, and we planned the trip to stop every 6-8 hours and spend a few days so that it would be a true vacation.

This trip, however, was not without its problems.  Now we look back 11 years later, and laugh about those mishaps.

  I got pulled over in a small town in Mississippi because we were lost, made a turn down a pretty desserted street looking for a gas station and the local police man found us suspicious.  It was comical when he pulled us over when he and his partner got out of the car and came up to both of our windows.  Our back seat was full and we had Maryland plates.  We were "not from these parts" and pretty obvious to these backwoods cops.  The cop was very nice.  Called in our license while we were standing there (said I had swerved over the white line, which I did no such thing) and the lady could not spell out last name to save her life.  The cop rolled his eyes and let us go.

Our Kia wouldn't start in Oklahoma.  We were coming out of our hotel and nothing I did would get it to start.  The engine wouldn't turn over.  We had the hotel staff come out and take a look and then I remembered - the stupid car came with a stupid alarm that would turn itself on whenever it wanted, and when it was on, you couldn't turn the car over.  Grumbles and a few hours later, we were on our way again.  I am sure the hotel staff had a good laugh at our expense that morning.

We accidentally flooded our hotel room in around New Mexico (I am too lazy to go look up exactly where that gem happened).  The toilet had been running and running, but we thought nothing of it (we were SO smart, I tell ya) and fell asleep.  We woke up to a few inches of water on the floor.  Had to call to be moved to a new room in the middle of the night.  Sweet times....

And lastly - Mat accidentally deleted every vacation picture we took when we reached Arizona.  He was messing around with it and he did goodness knows what and boom, they were gone.  That is when I lost it.  I told him I wanted to go home and obviously moving to California was a big mistake.  He tried to make up for it by taking 100's (I mean 100's ) of pictures for the last few days of our trip.  Luckily we had bought a lot of postcards along the way.

The good stuff was the amazing things we saw.  The Oklahoma City bombing site.  The old houses of the south.  Arlington Texas - where we decided that is what we would name our first born.  The Grand Canyon.  The sand dunes.  On and on.  We spent Thanksgiving in a beautiful national park.  We relaxed and enjoyed each other's company.

And we did it all in a little Kia  Sephia that we held on to until we moved away from California several years later.
 And the move?  One of the best moves we ever made.  We loved every second of our life in California.  And how we got there was just part of the story.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


The RDH12 Fund for Sight has registered with the website If you go to, register with them, and then select the RDH12 Fund for Sight as your charity, every search you do on the GoodSearch site will generate money for RDH12. Additionally, if you go through to make your on-line purchases from company's like Amazon and Vistaprint, additional money will be given to the RDH12 Fund for Sight.

So try it out!!  Here is the link:

 Just click on it!!  Thank you for helping our foundation!

Friday, June 22, 2012

The 2nd day of Summer vacation

Today we started our "schedule".  It was always nice to have a little bit of a routine in the summer.  Keeps me sane and the kids alive.

I have a board in the kitchen where I right down what the plans are for the day.  That way, there is no question about when we are doing the stuff I NEED/want them to do, and when they are free to do what they want.

Our schedule today went like this:

wake up-9am - TV/play/eat breakfast
9am-10am - work on Kumon/workbooks/chores
10am-10:30 - snack
10:30-11:15 - reading time (Where I read a book to them and they read something to me)
11:15-12:15 - play time
12:15-1:00 - lunch
1:00-1:30 - silent reading for Arlington and Cainan/braille work with Finley with me
1:30-3:00 - free play or movie if it is raining (which it was not)/chores
3:00-3:30 - snack
3:30-5:00 - play/TV time/art time
5:00 - dinner

I know - seems a bit strict, right?  My kids like it.  It decreases fighting with them when it comes time to do work.  And since Finley and Cainan have mandatory Kumon work, and Finley has mandatory Braille work, it helps a lot to have it written down when we are going to do it, so there is no fighting about it.

Each day will be different, of course - especially during camp weeks.  But on free days, this will be pretty much what the days look like.

And I stole from my sister in law, Carrie, the Snack Bar idea.  She had made a list of chores and what snack each chore earned them.  I loved it and thought it was perfect.  My kids are CONSTANT snackers, especially in the summer.  We would be out of crackers before mid-week, so I made a chart where they have to do something to earn the chore.  It happens in the block of time before snack time, so they don't have to wait long for the reward.  IT is all stuff they are capable of, and the snacks are things they wouldn't get on a regular basis, so they were pretty excited.  Let's hope it continues!

Here are pictures from today!

Arlington's mask:
 Finley's mask
 Cainan's mask:
 Cainan decided to put a suction cup on his head.  No idea why:
 Finley with crazy hair working on her Ipad:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Reminder time

Now that you have had picture overload from me for the last week or so, I thought it was time for a reminder.

Finley's 5K run/walk, 10K run, and 1 milk fun  run and picnic is coming up very soon!  We are 2 months away from our biggest event of the year.  Race forms have gone out, and are starting to come back in.  We are in full swing.

So get those race forms in!  I am posting it below, and you can print it out, fill it out, and send it in if you lost yours, or think you know someone who might like to come.  Or you can register online.  If you go to:


It will take you where you need to go to register for the race online and pay by credit card.  You can also buy your basket raffle tickets that way, and we can have them in your race packet the day of the race.

It is going to be a great day.  Please join us.  We have so many great things planned.  And now we have a band that is going to play as well!  The baskets are coming together and are going to be AWESOME.  I can't wait to start to share pictures of all the amazing baskets we have.

August 25th.  Starts at 9am.  And if you don't want to run or walk, join us between 11-1 for $5 and have lunch with us.  Come bid on some baskets and listen to the music.  Bring the kids to bounce in the bounce house and get their faces painted.

Help us meet our $20,000 goal we have for Finley this year.  We can't do it without you!

If you put your cursor over the picture below and click on it, it will make the brochure bigger!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It was Company's fault

I haven't posted for a few days because we have been busy with company.  My in-laws and my niece and nephew "M" and "G" were in visiting for a few days.  It was nice to have them here, and reconfirmed that our family is complete with 3 children.  I always felt like I was doing a head count with 5 children out and about.  I got some pretty interesting looks at the playground.  And I think I got a look of "oh my" at the library.  They were all well behaved but it is......a lot of kids.

My kids loved having their cousins here.  I am hoping that we can make having my niece "M" here an annual thing.  She is such a well behaved, smart little girl.  Love having her with us.  I think my kids would love to hang with her for some of the summer, since we don't get to see her much.  She is my oldest niece (oldest of all the nieces and nephews - there are a lot) so she is the closest in age to my kids, being almost 7.  We love it.

Anyway - back on track with pictures.  Were the heavens had I left off?  Eh, doesn't matter.  Let's go with pictures from this few days.

We will start with when "M" and "G" arrived.  We had pizza and celebrated Father's day with Mat and my father-in-law, Ben.  We had ice cream cake from Dairy Queen, which is always awesome:

 On Monday, Sally and I went to watch some of Arlington's Field day at her school.  WE got there just for the end and got to see the tug of war.  Her class did really well.  Ended up coming in 2nd out of the 6 3rd grade classes!

 On Monday afternoon, after school, we went to a local playground called "Castle in the Trees".  It is a huge playground, and my kids love to go there.  I think "M" and "G" had a good time - they didn't want to leave!

 On Tuesday morning, we started with Arlington's Author's breakfast.  Her class at school (as well as all the third grades) to an author's breakfast where the kids read things they have written.  Tuesday was Arlington's class's turn.  She did a great job - all the kids did.

 Today was the LAST day of school.  It was finally here, and the kids were really excited.  I know have a 4th grader, a 1st grader, and a transitional kid.  Where did my babies go?

Now I am all caught up.  Tomorrow is the first day of our summer vacation, and we are so glad to not have to get up at 6:30 and rush around for a few months.