Thursday, December 31, 2009

A trip to the zoo!

Before Christmas we went to the Wildlife World Zoo on the other side of town in Litchfield Park. It is a round trip drive of 100 miles; took 45 minutes to get there but nearly 1 1/2 hours to come home because of rush hour traffic. This is my favorite zoo because all the animals are so close to you. Sometimes a little too close like a tiger that was pacing back and forth in front of his fence only about 5 feet away. I also like all the birds they have at the zoo but you must remember that I am a big bird lover.

So, I planned to take Chandler, Cooper and Tatum on the last day of school for Christmas break because Alvin and Chelsea had a work day that day. Anyway, they found out where we were going so they ditched the school and tagged along. Chandler was the "map" man. He followed that map the whole day. Tatum ran after him from place to place. Cooper was a little more serious in each thing he saw and spent more time looking at the animals and the birds. Just another means of seeing how different the two boys are.

The most fun of the day I thought (and Cooper too) was feeding the birds. It was an enclosed cage and you fed the birds apples. At times Cooper had a bird on his head and about 3 on his arms; all at one time. Chandler found a red colored bird that liked to peck his finger but all of the others were super friendly. Tatum doesn't like birds so she stayed outside sitting on a bench with Pa.

Cooper liked feeding the giraffes - he didn't mind all the droul.

The baby goats liked Chelsea

Cooper was walking along the path and he heard this bird talking to him. He was so shocked to hear him. They all enjoyed talking to them after that. I just love birds that talk and reminds me of my past birds Perkins, Gizmo, and Macayla! They were all good talkers.

Tatum is afraid to death of birds but likes the bigger things like this lion.

It was a fun day.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Cody, Chelsea, Carter and Cash . . .

We missed you Cody, Chelsea, Carter and Cash! It is just not the same having a son and his family live so far away. But, I know it is the place you need to be Cody and you are doing so well with your work. We are proud of you. Your Christmas card is absolutely perfect. We love you!

Christmas Day with family!

We always go to my sisters for Christmas Day because she has the biggest home. With me having three brothers and the one sister and you add our kids and grandkids we have a huge crowd. This year a few were missing and greatly missed.

After a good dinner the little kids; seven of them in ages of seven to two headed outside to scour the haystack and animals and ride their riding toys. Meanwhile we adults enjoyed our usual gift exchange. Everyone brings a $25.00 gift and we draw a number for the order of opening the presents. This year the hot items were: $25.00 in scrunched up one dollar bills, sonic gift certificate, a Phoenix Suns jacket,and a few gift cards from various places.

Ryan and Jenny fought over who got the chair the entire afternoon. Neither one would get up!

Unfortunately Jacquie didn't go home with the cash!

Judy opened the bird cage picture holder wall hanging but Jaycie really wanted it for her room so she stole it from Judy.

Big John opened up the portable bucket vac from Home Depot which I ended up with. Would everybody quit asking me why I wanted that please!

So, the day ended - Christmas is over for another year. There are two things I look forward to in the year. One is Christmas and the other is our beach vacation. Now, I can look forward to vacationing for two weeks in July.

Oh, by the way I got a "fancy" camera from Alvin for my present this year. He thinks I should go back to CGCC to learn how to use it. Perhaps I should after reading the instruction manual that is way over my head.
I got him a "nook" which is a book reader. Unfortunately his present was back ordered so he hasn't had a chance to use it yet. It will arrive the day he goes back to school unfortunately. "I" need it now Barnes and Noble!

A Very Merry Christmas Morning . . .

Wow it never lasts long enough for me! We had a fabulous time the last few days/weeks and now we are emerging out from under the fallout. I hate when it all ends! The things I most like about Christmas is the music, the outside lights and the tree.

We spent Christmas Eve Day at home; Alvin doing yard work and I in the kitchen preparing food for Christmas Day. Christmas morning we first picked up Grandma Helen and then headed out to Chelsea and Stephen's home for breakfast and presents. It is always fun to see Tatum, Cooper and Chandler excited on Christmas morning.

The morning ended way too quickly - Tatum got sleepy - and I needed to head home to check a turkey cooking in the oven. Thanks Chelsea and Stephen for a very nice Christmas morning.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Dance Class

Tatum has been going to a dance class and this week was the "end of class" program. You usually aren't allowed to watch but since this was the last time family was able to sit and enjoy. It wasn't really a program just showing what they had learned. It was my turn to take Tatum this week since Mom was teaching so I took lots of pictures.

Tatum is the oldest in the class but they all are between 2 1/2 and 3. She was the biggest and the most attentive. She did what she was told and knew what was expected of her. She showed no emotion, spoke few words and never changed the expression on her face. But, I think she was totally enjoying what she was doing. She did tap, ballet and tumbling.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gingerbread Houses!

On another Friday after school we decorated gingerbread houses. This was an interesting project to see the difference in Chandler and Cooper. Chandler had his idea and completed it rather quickly. It turned out great.

Cooper had his idea too but was a bit more meticulous. The roof had to be just the right "smoothness" and he put his own design on his roof. He took his time in placing every single candy that went on that house. His Pa was proud of his artistic ability.

Now Tatum enjoyed sampling all the different pieces of candy and she requested that her house be pink. So, pink it was!

The final projects!

I started telling Chandler and Cooper the gingerbread houses we used to make when their Mom, Gretchen and Cody were kids. They were amazing. Not the little ones they just completed but huge ones. My sister hosted gingerbread house parties back in the late 80's and friends and family were invited to make a gingerbread house. So, that is why these houses had to be extra special because a competition was involved. We did this for several years and it seemed families finally didn't want to commit as much time to them as was necessary so the fun house building ended. They wern't something you could do in one afternnon. We spent many days on the project. I can remember one year my sister actually had electricity in their house. Of course you had to consider that the father of the family is a house builder. Here is our house in 1986. Gretchen was 15, Chelsea 9 and Cody 5. That is Cassie our cocker puppy.

So, gingerbread houses go way back for me. Something you just don't want to let go.

We baked and decorated . . .

One Friday after school we rolled out gingerbread men and decorated them. It is amazing how Chandler and Cooper get so totally involved with a cooking and decorating project.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas Card Tradition continues . . .

It has been such a busy time the last several weeks trying to finish photoshop class, shopping, decorating the house and finalizing the traditional Christmas card. Plus dealing with a sickness that doesn't want to go away. But, here is our card for 2009! The picture was taken at our family vacation in Newport Beach.

Christmas Stockings

Carter, Cash and Chelsea spent some time here during Thanksgiving and one evening Cash and Tatum enjoyed looking over the Christmas stockings.

By the time the evening was over Cash and Tatum named each name on the individual stockings. It was so fun to hear Cash and Carter tell Cody in a phone conversation what their individual stocking looked liked. I laughed when Cash said his had "candy corn" on his. (meaning of course:candy canes)

Monday, November 9, 2009

Busy past weeks

Oh I am so glad everything that has happened in the past month is over. I can now sit and enjoy my time. We had two garage sales, I had a bad case of some kind of flu, photoshop assignment no. 3 due, Alvin home for two weeks for fall break, appointments, Gretchen's house warming party, inside of house painted, my sister's birthday, my brother's birthday, and yes, my birthday too. What a hectic few weeks. Now, time for new things - Christmas shopping (mostly done), wrapping the presents, cleaning the house from neglect the previous month and hoping to get all this done so I can enjoy time with Chelsea, Carter and Cash when they arrive next week for a 12 day visit. Things always get done don't they?

No. 4 photoshop assignment was to design a CD cover using three different images with a title of "Spaces in Between." I was so confused at first (not unusual) so I asked everyone for suggestions. A railroad track was suggested and I went with that. The three images I used are below. You can find stock photography on the web; some you have to buy but others you can get for free. I have yet to spend any money on prints I just search for free ones. I like what I did. Here it is.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The 3rd assignment . . .

Restoring old photos has taken much of my time the last several weeks. The teacher really drags assignments out I think but I have decided the others in the class may not have as much time as I do so I am careful not to get my assignments done too soon. Anyway, the restoring process is very time consuming and tedious work. I at first didn't like it but as I do more I find I like it better. Here is one of my completed restorations. This picture is my great grandmother.



Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Cupcakes!

Alvin had a potluck at school this evening in his ceramics class and he usually goes to Costco and buys that very chocolately layer cake with chocolate frosting and then shaved chocolate on top. It has kinda gotten "old" with everybody because nobody eats it so he brings it home for us to eat. Way too much chocolate for me and I do like chocolate. So, today I made pumpkin cupcakes from scratch with cream cheese frosting for his potluck. A much more healthy dessert and fun to make. They turned out rather cute I think.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

More photoshop . . .

My second photoshop assignment was to make a poster that advertises a public service event or cause. I was confused and most defnitely had no idea what I wanted to do. Then, I went to a site on the web that lists all the events celebrated throughout the world by month. So, looking at the month of October first I quickly saw "Global Handwashing Day" on October 15. That sounded good to me because I do endorse everyone washing their hands at least a million of times in a day. There are also sites you can go to to download stock photography and that is where I found all of my pictures. It was a fun project and I am proud of my finished assignment.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Photoshop getting easier!

Here is part of my first assignment for my class. We are doing an autobiography so I thought it fitting to pick our wedding photo of 41 years ago. I finally this week feel so much better about the class and the instructor doesn't ignore me anymore. So, things are looking up.

I have corrected 12 pictures total for this assignment and I am keeping up with the rest of the class quite remarkably. I am actually finding it rather easy. Next week we are putting those 12 pictures on a web page. That might be interesting!