Thursday, April 28, 2011

Favorite Things Thursday

There is a new link-up party going on over at Miss Melanie




and the question this week is...

What is your favorite book?

so here's mine:



Now, I know what you're thinking -- What is she, fifteen?   Well, I guess I just might be a teenager at heart, because I LOVED these books!  I have read them all three times.   (each time a movie comes out, I re-read the entire series before I see the movie)  

What do I like about this series?  Well, to be honest, I like that it is  an "easy read" - meaning that the storyline, while interesting, is very simple to follow.  Yea, I'm lazy like that.  I don't want to "think" too much but would rather just get lost in the story and the emotions of it all.  

Another thing: I love the characters!  They felt like friends to me; family, even.  When I finished reading the last book, I must have walked around in a haze for about a week because I missed all the characters so much!  I was just so deep into their world  that it was like I was there,  and I just went through a mourning of sorts when I finished the books.  I just felt...lost and displaced.  Very strange, I know.  But I can get like that when I get really "into" a book or a series.

It was the same way when I was 14 years old and read The Outsiders for the first time. 

There have been many covers over the years, but the copy that I read looked like the one second from the left.  The cover was worn, bent and torn, due to the fact that I read this book about 27 times that year.   A bit much?  Oh yea.  I was infatuated with The Outsiders.  Posters all over my walls, and everything.  

With Twilight I've toned it down just a bit.  At the age of 41, I don't have posters all over my walls - although my 18 year old keeps asking me if she can take down all six of her Twilight posters from her bedroom walls (because unlike her mother she is moving on to more adult things)  but I keep begging asking her  to  please  leave them up there a bit longer :)  

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

just 3 more days...

in just 3 more days...

I am walking on April 30th in the March for Babies 5k which will help raise money for the March of Dimes!!


and there are only 3 more days left for me to reach my fundraising goal!

I am walking in honor of my niece, Layla, who was born on July 31, 2010 at just 26 weeks gestation.  She spent 13 long weeks in the hospital, many days fighting for her life.  Day by day she got stronger, and then sometimes she would have setbacks.  It was a hard time for her family.  But thanks to the skilled medical team that worked with her and all the research done by the March of Dimes, Layla got the care that she needed and was able to go home with her family on October 26, 2010.  It was a wonderful day!  Layla is now a very happy and healthy 8 month old who brings her parents (and her 3 brothers and 3 sisters!)  much joy.

Our sweet Layla


While we celebrate Layla, we also sadly remember all those little ones who never made it out of the NICU...or those who did make it out only to suffer from prematurity-related complications.  Premature births are not always as successful as Layla's.  Babies such as sweet Madeline Spohr, who was born at 28 weeks gestation, spent many weeks in the hospital, and then grew and got strong enough to go home with her parents.  Such a joyous day!  Maddie brought so much happiness to all those who came to know her, but especially to her parents, who cherished her so much. But due to her prematurity, Maddie's lungs were weak, and on April 6, 2009, she came down with a respiratory infection, and then suddenly passed away the very next day, April 7, 2009...when she was just 16 months old.  

Happy, happy baby...sweet Maddie
November 11, 2007 ~ April 7, 2009


I am walking in celebration of Layla, and I am walking in memory of sweet Maddie...and all those other sweet babies that passed away due to being born too soon.  The March of Dimes continues to do more research that will hopefully, one day, prevent premature births all together.  Wouldn't that be a great day!  

I know we all have our favorite charities that we like to support (there are so many good causes out there!)  and if any of you happen to support the March of Dimes, will you please consider helping me reach my goal of $1,000 ?  As of right now, I have reached $610 in donations!  I'm  almost there!  Yay!!  It's very simple to donate.  You just go to my March of Dimes webpage and  enter a donation amount  (any amount, no matter how small, is helpful and very much appreciated!)  and then choose your method of payment, enter the information....and that's it!

Here is the link to my  webpage:  http://www.marchforbabies.org/mommy9times

Thank you very much!

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday



Jumping into the pool - with style!
Tony, age 8








got gas?

I seriously spend much of my day as a shuttle service.  Drive kids to school, drive kids home from school, drive kids to sports practices, drive kids home from sports practices;  to the library, to Staples when they need school supplies, to playdates, to friend's houses, to parties, to homeschool field trips... and all the other appointments in between.  Definitely the "downer" to having so many children, if I could name one thing, is all the driving.  

We have a 15 passenger van.  That van's gas tank gets filled on average 2 -3 times per week.  Yes, that's PER WEEK!  Because in addition to all the running around I do mid-week, we have soccer games on the weekends (which require a distance drive because they are club soccer, not our local A.Y.S.O soccer.  Club requires traveling, and we have two kids in club!)  And we have friends and family who live an hour's drive away, who we visit as well.  Our gas tank gets about 12 miles to the gallon, average.

Where we live, the gas today is $4.23 per gallon, and that's the "cheap" lowest grade gas.  To fill our van's gas tank costs a little over $100 with these prices - so that's $200-$300 per week in gas for our family (and this isn't including Rich's truck that he commutes to work in!)


Something has got to change!

If the gas prices aren't going to go down, then we have to limit our driving.   How in the world am I going to do that?  Not have the kids involved in sports?  Not allow them playdates, field trips? No more going to visit family and friends? That hardly seems fair.

In some states, the gas prices are still in the $3.00 range.  But here?  We will be at $5.00 per gallon in no time.  Darn California prices! 

Sometimes I will get in the van in the morning and I could swear we had a full tank the day before...yet it reads we are down to half a tank.  I wonder  if  times are getting desperate enough that people go around stealing gas from gas tanks in the middle of the night?  Because I could swear that's what's happening to my tank.  Should get a lock on my gas tank?  I just might have to.

What is the price of gas in your area?  Is anyone living in a state that has higher gas prices than ours?  If so, what are you doing about it, other than complaining and whining like me? LOL

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Sunday, April 24, 2011

the special egg


Afton and Alex were arguing today while we were coloring Easter eggs, and so I told Afton that being the older of the two, she had to do anything and everything to get along with Alex because I didn't want to hear fighting on Easter.  So she made a special egg for Alex, to show her love.

"Alex is Special"

Her way of sticking it to him without fighting.


Easter morning...the kids woke up to find that the Easter Bunny left their baskets on the kitchen island.

Nine baskets.  Because no  matter how old you are....
if you are still living in the family house, you get an Easter basket.


Yep, that means you, Mr. Twenty-year-old.


The Egg Hunt

Dying Eggs



And let's not forget that while eggs are lots of fun to decorate and hunt for,  the true meaning of Easter is much deeper than that... 


“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”
John 3:16-17

HAPPY EASTER!

Sippy Cups and Cloth BumsThe Adventures of My Family of 8 Tuesday Blog Hop


 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

BMX Birthday!

So the "new" thing that I'm trying this week...is editing my photos.  I have never been much into editing, so this is all new territory for me.  Below is my recap of A.J.'s birthday party, along with some of my favorite photos.  Each one is edited using different techniques found in Picnik.

~~~*~~~*~~~*~~~

A.J.'s "real" birthday was last month, but this month we had his Birthday Party...due to the fact that mama procrastinated on booking the BMX track and well, when you wait...you're usually late, right?    So yea, we were late in giving him this party, but you know what?   It's all good...because A.J. and all of his friends had a BLAST !


That's A.J. pulling out into the lead.  He had an advantage on all of his friends, since I believe he is the only one who races BMX bikes.  I think only one other boy at the party had ever been on a BMX race track before!  They all did great, nonetheless.  We had minimal falls, and the kids really enjoyed themselves.  It was very cool to have the entire track rented out to ourselves!  I would love to do this more often.




And here is Andrew, just 4 years old, and his first time on the track.  He's ready to race!  Do you see him catching some air in the larger photo?  Yep, that's my boy!


Alex has also been racing bikes for quite a few years


                         Tony                                     Aislynn & Alex                                     A.J.


HAPPY BIRTHDAY, 8 YEAR OLD!



linking up with...

 All that Glitters: girly fashion trends Fab Friends Thursday Blog Hop









Tuesday, April 19, 2011

marked!

 Thanks to the very helpful tutorial by 3 Jewels in My Crown  
today I learned how to put a watermark on the photos that I put onto my blog.   
So simple!



The above two photos were actually taken by my friend Kristy - I love her camera!
I edited them and added effects.


The two photos below were taken by my simple point-and-shoot.
:::Sigh:::  Still waiting to buy my perfect camera!





 I used  Picnik to edit the photos and to put on the watermark.



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