Wednesday, August 31, 2011

MTTMB Series:" A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You"

This blog series was inspired by a couple of conversations on Facebook with a dear childhood friend Cortney. In fact, not only is the series for my birthday but I planned the posts to center around her birthday too! I worked it so I could post this today on her birthday. A little gift, the gift of a stroll down memory lane.

Happy birthday Cortney!

Cortney and I spent a lot of time together growing up. Her mom was always willing to have me over and I loved spending time with her family. We would swim, play in their second floor family room and listen to music. Her parents turned us on to the Monkees in the summer of 85'. We spent many days listening to the "Monkees Reunion Album." and watching the TV Show. We would always sing this song and do hand motions to each other. Still to this day, we both think of each other when we hear it.

Jump forward a few years, I moved away from our hometown and only visited on the weekends. After elementary school we fell out of touch and she moved away to Oregon. I looked for her for years and finally  found her again until last summer. Last year was a pretty dark year of my life and one of the bright spots was reconnecting with Cortney. It was like finding my long lost sister. What a joy it has been to have the chance to talk with her and reconnect.

During a conversation on Facebook about songs that take you back, this song came up. I don't know about her, but this song brings me right back to 7th grade. I can remember the feeling of being that age and it just really transports me to a simpler time in life.Being in jr high, my first boyfriend and being excited to be a teenager.

 I really love today's blog. Probably my favorite of the whole series since its the basis for the whole series. I hope Cortney has a great birthday today and enjoys the stroll down memory lane as much as I did.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Homeschooling, a labor of love

Here we go again, our school is back in session. This is our 9th year of homeschooling overall, I started when Conner was four years old and Elizabeth was two. Things have changed greatly since those days, in so many ways its easier and in some ways harder.

Nine years ago, I had no clue what I was getting into. Thankfully some very nice women came alongside of me and helped me learn the ropes. I remember Janice taking me to her homeschool meetings with her, Kim and Sandi helping me with paperwork and reports. Thank goodness we have such a great homeschooling community in our area.

Our first few years were difficult. Conner has dual learning issues that made teaching the basics difficult. It took him four years to learn to read because of that. Elizabeth was the opposite, she learned so fast and actually picked up many things before her brother would. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to help Conner at his pace and help him overcome so many obstacles. Nothing brought greater joy than the day he called his Poppa and read to him over the phone.

I learned that during the school year, somethings can wait. It's not about the clean house and running errands, its about taking the time to learn. I have learned so much from homeschooling. I struggled in math throughout my years as a student even in college. I have learned so much from our math curriculum and have overcame my issues with math also.

The early years are fun. Fun activities, field trips and learning times. Now we are in the years where its serious learning. Many subjects to be covered, tests to be taken and grades to be recorded. I sit back and think, next year Conner will be a high school student and I have four years left with him. Elizabeth is in her last year of elementary school and time with her is growing short.

I am thankful for the opportunity to homeschool and glad that I have stuck it out. Homeschooling is a learning journey for the parent( or teacher) as much as it is the child. It's been fun this year, my good friend  Stacy is a homeschooling nanny. Another friend from church is just starting out her journey also.  I must say, its nice being on this side of things.

Last year was a rough year, we have some gaps to fill in from the time I was gone. My mom did a great job of keeping the school work up but there are some things only I could teach. So we have some extra work to do. Now I lean heavily on my friends Traci and Alison who are in the trenches with me. We can share curriculum and book reviews, ask each other questions and give advice. It's nice to have them be one or two steps ahead of me.

Here's to a good school year for our homeschool and everyone else with kids in school.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Marty update, I'm forgetting how to write these

I am getting so used to writing about other things now! Marty has been doing so well. As time goes on, life just gets better and better.

He got his labs back and everything looks great. They just can't seem to find a good Prograf level for him and are still changing it quite often. That's one of the anti-rejection drugs.

He's back to working way more than full time. Hopefully soon I can get a part time job so that he doesn't have to work as much overtime.

Last weekend, I had a odd flu bug. I just didn't feel right and was very sore and exhausted. I never got sick but just had a muscle aches and nauseous feeling.

Marty started feeling the same way on Sunday evening. As the week has gone on he feels worse and worse, very tired. He even took a couple of days off. It's so hard to know if he just has the bug that I had or something more serious.

His donor had a childhood illness called cytomeglovirus. Marty never had it and has been on medication to prevent it. They took him off that medication and told us to watch. Many of the symptoms are similar to what he is experiencing.

I called Stanford and they are waiting and watching. All of his vitals are perfectly normal, no fever. We are praying it is just a flu bug, another family at church has been having a similar virus in their home.

Thanks for being faithful to support our family. We are really getting back on track and life is finally feeling normal ( is there such a thing?) again.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: I was "Head Over Heels"

When I was nine years old, just about this time of year my life was forever changed. I fell in love for the first time....with a band. Having a older sister in the house the new fad MTV was always on in the house. One day in the afternoon this song came on

 My life was forever changed. Not only did the song become my favorite song, I had my first crush on the bass player Curt Smith. I begged my parents to buy me the album and it quickly overtook Annie,Grease and the Olympic record. I played that record constantly, knew every song by heart and watched MTV obsessively to see the video. I used to carry the album with me everywhere and actually warped my first copy because I left it in the trunk.

I can be anywhere and hear any Tears For Fears song and immediately be transported back to our house in Buena Park. I can remember how it made me feel then and the songs always bring me joy. As some of you may or may not know, I spent a good chunk of my teen years going to concerts sometimes up to three days a week.

  Unfortunately, by the time I got old enough for that, Tears For Fears had broken up. I have never been able to see them live. Next month two days after my 35th birthday my dream will come true. Tears For Fears is playing near me and I get to go. Thrilled beyond belief would be a understatement. A life long dream come true. That doesn't happen many times in life and I am Head Over Heels.


 This album, band and a conversation inspired this series.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: " Do you believe that little girls can fly?"

 Growing up in Los Angeles area in 1983 and 1984, the air was permeated with all things Olympics. Everywhere you turned there was Olympic merchandise and events. I remember having a Olympic day at my school and singing the French National Anthem or standing on Colima to watch the Olympic torch run by.

My Parents bought me this album to celebrate the Olympics. I played this everyday as you can tell by the well worn sticker on the corner.

( My Mom brought this record to me last weekend)

I loved the Olympic fanfare and pageantry. Thanks to the recent advent of the VCR ( We had a Betamax actually) I watched the opening ceremonies and taped them. I think that tape was well played for five years or so.

This song written for the LA Olympics is still used to this day. Everytime I hear it, I go right back to the summer of 84'

During the Olympic mania KTLA channel 5 in LA played Nadia. The story of the Romanian great Nadia Comaneci. I was in love and obsessed with Nadia. My best friend Christena and I would play Nadia everyday, fighting over who was Nadia and who was Teadora? ( She always got to be Nadia because she had dark hair). Once again, thanks to the new invention of the VCR, we watched this movie everyday for YEARS.

What sweet memories of childhood, innocence, being eight years old, and summer days long gone by. I still love to watch the Olympics and still get a chill everytime I hear that song. Truth be told.........I would still love to meet Nadia one day. 

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: The Endless Summer

I spent a lot of summers growing up, traveling to and from camping trips in the family car. Everytime we would head out to our destination, the Beach Boys would come on the radio. I always thought it was God. He knew to play that song as we drove off to some beach to camp.


  Then as we packed up to go home. Sad to be leaving the beach and driving off toward home, Sloop John B would come on the radio. Yep, God was telling us it was time to go home.

  About six years ago, I told my Dad this story. "Wasn't it funny how that always happened?" He looked me dead in the face and said, "We had the 8 track."

  All those years, I never knew. It was just Dad listening to his 8 track to and from. One of the funniest moments of my life.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: "The Sun Will Come Out"

I've carefully be picking and choosing songs, planning out this series ahead of time. Really it centers around two or three songs but I decided to make it a month and added in other songs.  I pre- determined todays blog and the blog to follow. Imagine my surprise last Sunday when my mom walked in my house with this album..... She had no clue about my blog since she doesn't read it and didn't know that I was even planning to use this as a topic. It was meant to be for me to blog about these two albums. I loved this Annie record so much, it actually has a crack in it. I thought it was long gone and never thought I would still own it. I rented this movie so many times in the 80's from my local Licorice Pizza rental store. I had a Annie doll, Annie locket and the album. My mom even took me to see the play at The Grand Hotel dinner theater back in the 80's.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A project with Poppa

A few months ago, Conner wanted to learn leather working. My mom gave him some old tools that she had stored away and he bought a set of new tools. He made Marty a multi tool holder for Father's day.

Right around Fathers day, Marty's aunt Sheila asked him if he wanted some of his Dad's leather working tools. Marty at the time didn't know Conner had started working leather.

After Father's day, a large box arrived with quite a few tools and leather. We had given these to Marty's uncle and thought they were long gone. In the box were some unfinished coasters, stamped but not laced.

Last week, Conner got a new leather working item from a friend and went into his box to find a project. He sat and laced all the coasters. As he was doing this, the thought occurred to's a project that he did with his Poppa. Marty's dad died before we found out we were expecting and Conner was born later that same year. They never met and that is one of the biggest heartache of our lives. So this is a amazing gift to have something they both did together. What a blessing in disguise that we never expected to come fourteen years later.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: "Grease is the word"

"I got chills their multiplying and I'm losing control." A line from my very first favorite album and soundtrack. The Grease album was orginally my sister Kim's but I quickly claimed it as my own.

grease soundtrack

  I listened to this album until I didn't have a record player any longer. Sadly, it got lost and I no longer own the actual vinyl copy. It holds great memories of singing and dancing with my sisters around the house. In fact, one of the last good memories I have with my sisters is from the re-release in 1998. We went and saw the movie on the big screen for the first time together and sang every song. It's hard to pick just one song but I will have to go with the theme song. It always takes me back........

 A/N I am hoping to maybe get my cousins and friends together next year and go to the Hollywood Bowl sing a long. Also, my mom came by today and brought me two items that I was going to add to this series this week.It was totally unexpected and thrilling.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: Welcome Back

I love this song. It immediately makes me happy and takes me back to a happy time. I loved this show and can remember hearing the theme weekly as a young girl. It's associated with a very happy time in my childhood. I've often used it as my ringtone just because of the feeling it gives me when it plays. Truly a song that takes me back and cheers me up.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back Series: The Muppet Years

I used to love watching the Muppet Show and I am throughly convinced it was my first favorite television show. I'm excited about the new Muppet movie coming out this winter. When I hear these songs, I am transported back to being three years old.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Music That Takes Me Back series: The rocking chair years

For the next month, I am going to be posting music that takes me back to different times in my life. I thought it would be a fun way to celebrate my upcoming birthday. Everyone has those songs, the one where you immediately remember the who, what,where,when's in life. The one you turn up when it comes on the radio or Pandora.

The first song, is the song that was sang to me as a little girl. I can still hear my Dad singing it in my head.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What Elizabeth Thinks About Cycling and Football

Upon hearing the NFL lockout is over, my daughter replies, " Oh great! 21 days of agony just ended. Now we start the agony of the rest of the year."

Obviously, she isn't a fan of either the NFL or cycling. I thought it was pretty darn funny.