Monday, September 2, 2013

The Kids Were In the Alpenhorn Newspaper

 I'm pretty excited that the kids got to be in the newspaper.  We went to the backpack giveaway, put on by the Alpenhorn Newspaper.  (This is the 10th year in a row that the Alpenhorn has done this.)  It always comes right before school when children are most in need of a new backpack and school supplies.  Our kids are always so happy to go and not just because they get a new backpack.  For the kids, it seems like something magical has happened:  What color backpack will they get?  What school supplies will there be?  Who is going to be there?  So, I'm very glad we could once more participate in this neat event.  But how cool is it that the kids also got to have their picture in the paper?  (The article is here:


Friday, June 8, 2012

Three Piggy Opera

This is the Three Piggy Opera that Valley of Enchantment elementary school's first graders put on each year.  It is DARLING.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Heart Rock in the Spring

Heart Rock is a pretty little waterfall that spills into a heart-shaped depression.  It is in the Valley of Enchantment, near Camp Seeley.  An easy, 15-minute trail leads the way there.

Heart Rock Falls - the prize at the end of the trail

Beginning of Heart Rock trail
Follow the trail or the stream

The stream is strewn with boulders and logs
Exposed tree roots

Getting closer to the falls now

Heart Rock Falls from below
Looking up

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rain, Fog, and Snow

Oh, the weather has been so lovely lately... well, for me, that is.  I'm sure my husband would disagree.  He loves sun and warmth.  I, on the other hand, love clouds and fog and rain and crisp, cool air.

You know that feeling you get when you climb into bed and pull the blankets up to your chin, and you feel so safe and warm and peaceful?  That's how I feel on days like this - like everything is right in my world.

The artist in me finds great joy in days like this, too.  When everything is wet - the ground and trees and all the growing things and rocks and roads - all the colors deepen and become more vibrant.  The world around me shines like an artist's palette, and, no matter where I look, I see beauty.

Now, even more vibrant colors have appeared!  Now, it's snowed!  I have mixed feelings about snow.  I still have that deep love of blankets of clouds and all the vibrant colors that appear during inclement weather, but my feelings are tempered by the fact that I'm going to have to shovel snow and drive on slippery roads.  LOL  But is all that worth it so that I can have incredible beauty when I look out my window?  Absolutely!  And is it worth seeing my kids happy faces and hearing their laughter?  Of course! 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Claire's Giveaway Contest

These are the items for the Claire's Giveaway

Check out my vlog for contest instructions:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

January 28, 2012 Will There Be Fire?

Monday Jan 23rd - 5 days ago
 It's amazing that after our recent rain, that we should suddenly be at high risk for fire, but the winds are blowing like mad and everything is dry as can be.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

1-19-2012 Big Bear

We had a fantastic trip to Big Bear on Monday.

We actually went to meet up with my kids' birth mother.  Both our family and my kids' birth family lives up here in the San Bernardino mountains and so we like to choose various places on the mountain to meet up and visit - sometimes Valley of Enchantment or Crestline or Lake Arrowhead or Running Springs... This time we chose Big Bear.

It was one of our shorter visits because she needed to go to work, so we just went out to breakfast together and enjoyed each other's company there.  I enjoyed seeing the kids so happy to see her and love how they just snuggled right up to their mom and talked and got caught up on everything that's been happening since we were last together.  She's a wonderful woman and I am so grateful that we have her in our lives.

Afterward, she went off to work and we went off to play.

We started off at the Big Bear Zoo, which is actually called Moonridge Animal Park because it's on Moonridge Dr..  It had snowed the night before so the ground was covered in a dusting of white.  Most of the animals didn't seem to mind though and we out and about playing anyway.  (Well, they ARE mountain animals so they should be acclimated.)  It was interesting to watch zoo staff making their rounds - breaking the ice in the water bowls and replacing it with fresh water, raking up the snow in the enclosures, giving fresh food...  In one enclosure, the crows were so excited to see the woman who brings them food that as soon as they saw her they started cawing and cawing and cawing and doing this little dance for her.

The kids had a blast there and it seemed better to me that we played after visiting their mom rather than just going home.  A lot of times... well, most of the time actually... we visit with their mom and then go straight home and they are all so sad.  but this time, because we played afterward, they were so busy having fun that they didn't have time to think about being sad.

After the zoo, we went to the yarn store.  I've been slowing introducing the kids to crocheting.  Jesus can make a mean chain now and is probably ready to start learning some new... uh, what do you call them... stitches?  Cristal is only six and gets frustrated because she can't get the knack of it, but is still determined to learn.  Luis and Cristian want to learn to crochet also (mostly, I think, because men invented crocheting).  So, I bought a bunch of yarn for me (for the blanket I'm making), and new color of yarn for Jesus, and some yarn and crochet hooks for Luis and Cristian.

There are only two stores that have yarn on the mountain right now - one in Crestline (the Oak Trunk) and one in Big Bear (the Yarn Designers Boutique).  If you live up here and want to order yarn (or, if you live anywhere and want to order yarn) the owner will ship your yarn to you and you should get it the next day.  You don't even have to drive to the store.

Anyway, after the trip to the yarn store we dropped by El Pollo Loco for a yummy chicken dinner and then headed off to Boulder Bay so we could see the lake.  It was very cold and we only stayed for about ten minutes, but it was beautiful and well worth the stop off.  Part of the water was frozen and part was thawed.  Ducks were everywhere.  There were loads of tourists taking pictures of their family on the dock and next to the huge wooden bear statue.  And it was just neat to look at all the big fancy homes and imagine what it would be like to have such a lovely home right on the water.

All in all, I have to say that not only was Big Bear particularly breathtaking and beautiful that day, but the whole day was just lovely.  The kids and I enjoyed ourselves so much.  So much.

On the way home, the song "You'll Be in My Heart" from the Disney movie "Tarzan" came on.  It made Cristian cry because he was thinking about his birth mom.  When the song was over he fell asleep and slept most of the way back home, where we met up with my brother Chris.  He and Jesus went over Chris's house to walk the dogs and play video games and he had a great time there, too, and was just happy, happy all the rest of the day.