Thursday, March 31, 2011


Today we went on a picnic with our neighbors. Finally spring is here! I LOVE this place we go to. It's got a beautiful walking/bike trail, lots of picnic benches and this spot right here. This little cove always has THE best lighting. Does it always have cooperative children? Eh...not so much! Megan is notorious for her dramatic faces she makes. And here's proof. This is just her being normal. It's funny because I'm constantly saying Meg can you at least just look at the camera? Smile? Maybe? No? For goodness sake can you just look normal?? But then I remember....This is her normal.

I'm concentrating very hard and I will not look at the camera.

Fine, I'll stand here and look cute, but I refuse to look at my mother.

Ugh. Ok fine. Here. I'm looking. And I'll move half of my face into a smile. But that's it.

Oh wait, I think I got a half-way decent one here.

I'm not looking. I'm not looking. But I will lick this snot that's running out of my nose.

Ok, I forgive her here. Who doesn't look funny drinking from a water fountain?

I just thought this little sequence of pics was so funny and so telling of her personality. I ♥ her.
And him. Cuz he always smiles.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

10 on Tuesday.

1. I'm sorta obsessed with Trader Joe's lately. I know it's like SO 2005 right? Corey was living under a rock! Or rather, a town with no TJ's for the last 10 or so years. Now that we have several conveniently located near several of our normal go-to spots, I'm finding more and more excuses to stop in. My favorites are the pizza dough-- I can make my own, but not for 1.29! and I don't have to wait for it to rise for 2 hours either. I also love the sun dried tomato pesto. OMGosh! mix it with mayo on a sandwich?? so good! Oh and I finally decided to try their #1 seller, the orange chicken--super yummy! (if you have any favorites of your own, please tell me. I'm still sort of a TJ's newbee and I get a little overwhelmed in there!)
2. The sun is shinning! It's not raining! And tomorrow it's supposed to be like 70 something. Spring. Finally. I'm ecstatic!
3. This week we've been doing the state standards test for Jake. We have to go to a big church and meet a bunch of other people from our charter school to take it. It's kind of neat to finally see a bunch of "homeschoolers" all in one spot. I should probably do an entire post about this because I really could go on and on about my observations and thoughts. I'll just leave you with this for thought.... An 8 year old girl allowed to walk around all day with no shoes on. Not even socks (and it's still kinda cold in the mornings) because "she doesn't want to". And another student taking Trapeze lessons (yes as in the trapeze at the circus). I'm not saying anything. I'll let you guys just think those two things over. Feel free to talk this over in the comments. :)
4. My dad is still in the hospital fighting pneumonia. When I spoke with him yesterday he had had another chest x-ray and it appears he is no worse, but no better. It kind of deflates me to hear that, but I have to look at the positive and think no worse. no worse is ok.
5. it seems as if our move to the city/country as inspired a real pioneering spirit in us all. First chickens and now a vegetable garden. The kids are outside as I type pulling weeds for our soon to be food plot. Next up--I'm thinking of learning how to make my own cheese, try out bee keeping and then maybe try my hand at natural soaps, deodorants and oil cleansing. Just kidding. Well, not really actually. I wouldn't mind trying any of those things. Except I'm sorta scared of bees.

6. Jake finally lost his front tooth yesterday. I swear it's been loose since before Christmas. Maybe before Halloween. Forever. I can't believe how much he is like me when it comes to this stuff. I would never ever do anything to pull my teeth out. I'd wait till they just fell out. And that's exactly what he does. We were driving to his test yesterday literally a block away he says "uh....mommy?" I look back and there is his little tooth sitting on his tongue and blood kinda seeping out of it's hole. I just had to laugh. You can't even take the tooth out of your mouth??

What a goober!
7. What's your favorite Easter candy? I actually don't really like candy that much. But every year I can't wait for Reese's peanut butter eggs. Not like the little foil wrapped ones...the big ones in the yellow wrapper that are like a real PB cup , only they seem extra PB filled. Oh I just love those things. Two years ago I may or may not have hid and eaten an entire 12 pack of those suckers all by myself. I don't do those things anymore. One....or maybe two...will do :D
8.I finished reading A Reliable Wife on Sunday. I basically spent all afternoon reading. It was SO good. Deliciously bad. Does that even make sense? Read it if you haven't already.

9. Because I can't think of...

10. 10 whole things to write about today.

The end.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Up and down.

This post is all over the place. Bear with me.
Last week I was so chatty and this week I haven't posted at all. Hm. Well, I'll admit, I'm not in the best of moods. My kids are particularly driving me nuts today. Even though they aren't even being bad. They're just And I guess for some reason that is just too much for me today.
Maybe it's all this rain. I hate to be a whinny cry-baby, but oh my goodness will it ever stop raining??? My neighbor and I took the kids to this science museum thingy over in Berkeley yesterday. It was pouring rain. No--dumping buckets of rain and blowing 65mph winds. We were drenched and looked like drowned cats by the time we walked the 100 feet from the car to the front door of the place. It was in-sane! And it's been doing this for weeks upon weeks. ugh.
Ok I'll stop now. We did manage to have fun at the science place. So it wasn't all bad.
Last night I got a call from my step-sister. I'm getting to the point when I see either one of their names pop up on my cell phone that my stomach goes in knots and I sort of just want to ignore it, but if I do I'll really regret it. Because pretty much the reason the call me is to tell me status on my dad. And usually it's not good. So dad had to go back into the hospital last night. He's got pneumonia again. And who knows what else. It's just so frustrating. We were there a week ago today and he was looking and feeling so much better. I talked to him just two days ago and he sounded great and said that he's feeling better every day. And then I get this call that he's being admitted again. And it's like?? What?? Things change overnight and it's so overwhelming at times. This constant up and down roller coaster of emotions. And if I'm feeling this way?? Then I can not even imagine what he is feeling. He tries to be so strong. He doesn't want me to worry. He always says "I'm doin' alright". Even though I can hear it in his voice that he's not. And it tears me up because.....what can I do? I just want to fix it and I can't. I don't even know what to say. I hope you feel better just doesn't seem like enough. duh! Sometimes I have a hard time with words and this situation is just proving it to be true even more. I just don't even know what to say or what to do. I try to just have faith. But then when he gets knocked down again, my faith gets knocked down too. I just want him to be better. I'm begging God to just make him better. Because I can't even fathom the other.
On a lighter note....
We got the results of some of the standardized testing Jake has to do because we're still technically "public schooling" through a charter. Anyway, the K-3 grade students have to take the WRAT test in the fall and then again in the spring. I'm not a fan of standard tests, but this one is pretty basic. It is simply to see what grade level they're at in reading and math and the progress they have made through out the year. So when Jake took this at our first meeting with our teacher way back in August, I'm embarrassed to say how horrible he did. In his defense, he'd never done anything like it before and he'd never even met the teacher either so it was awkward. But still. He scored even lower than I had expected. I knew 1st grade in public school was pretty bad...but it might as well been a wash out. He scored below grade level in everything. BUT we got the results of the spring test on Tuesday and I am so pleased to say he's at a 3.5 grade level in everything. Third and a half grade! Holy Heck! I am so proud of him and I have to say that I am pleased with myself too. Cause I'm his teacher and all. :) At least now I know I'm doing something right! He has STAR testing next week. That's the state standardized one. I'm not looking forward to it because this one is just a bunch of BS that school teachers spend half the year training their students to take so they look good. Or good enough. We have 6 more official weeks of school and then we're done for the summer! Lets just hope the weather starts feeling a little more spring like.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Rainbow walk

Here are Jake's rainbow photo walk pics. We used my iPhone and the Instagram app. This app is so cool! and it's FREE! If you have an iPhone or iTouch download it and find me. My username is coreyann. It's really fun, because you can see other peoples pics and comment on them or "like" them. It's sort of an awesome time-waster like Flickr. :D
So without further adieu ...


Blue: (photo taken by me)
Purple or Violet. which ever you prefer :)

Megan was "too cold" so we'll see if we can't try hers inside later on.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Um yeah.....I seem to really be into taking pictures this week. I can't seem to get enough. Must be all this cruddy rain---it's giving me good light in the living room! These tiny pink roses live on this giant overgrown rose bush on our back patio. I love them. They are sweet and romantic. But the blooms never seem to last long, especially when it's raining.

(pics were edited using Pioneer Woman's actions for PSE. Boost, Seventies then Sunshine)

That's all I got...don't forget the rainbow pics tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Photo Challenge

Hey I'm just popping in here to offer up a challenge to you or your kids that might be fun this week. I saw this on a blog and I thought it was a great idea. On Thursday I'm handing the camera (or maybe just my phone) over to the kids. Their job will be to go on a rainbow scavenger hunt and take a photo of things they can find that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. It'll be fun for them and interesting to see what they come up with.

Here's mine...I didn't put a whole lot of thought into it and just used my phone, but it's fun to see literally what is right around you, in the smallest of spaces. These were all taken right in my kitchen and office.
Let me know if you or your kids do this, I wanna see!
P.S. this would be a cool addition to project life too :)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Black and White. And Orange.

I posted these on facebook the other day, but I started playing around in photoshop and I think I love these black and whites even more. Just thought I'd post them here.

This one below I just happened to crop vertical so it would fit in one of the little slots in my project life album. The closer crop makes it even better, I think. I love it and sort of want it on a big old canvas.

This one is from today and I thought it was just too cute! I set these Cuties in the window in the living room because there was such pretty light. I was just practicing, trying to get my aperture and focus right. As soon as I put my camera up to my face, this little guest popped into my view finder. Even kitties like Cuties, I guess.
Hope you are enjoying the weekend. :)
P.S. My dad is home from the hospital! I'm so happy. He's pretty worn out, but so happy to be home. ♥

Friday, March 11, 2011

5 for Friday

I don't know if you know this, but I love to cook. Like second to taking pictures and wasting time on the internet, I love cooking. I subscribe to over 100 blogs on Google Reader. I haven't counted, but I would venture to say that at least 80 of them are cooking blogs. I'm not kidding.
I have a bulging recipe binder. One day I'll actually get around to punching holes in the recipes and put them in the binder rings. I've found SO many good recipes online over the past oh...6 or 7 years. I usually write on them after I've made it with "good!" or "yummy!" or "Pete loves it" and shove it with the rest of them. When I was still subscribing to Weight Watchers, I'd note the points values too. Sometimes it's kind of fun to look through them all. I forget what I have in there sometimes! It's like a recipe scrapbook :)
Anyway, we've had some really yummy stuff lately so I thought I'd share our 5 favorite things, all recipes found right here on the internets.

1. Chicken enchiladas. Oh my word. I've made these 2 or 3 times and I just want to bathe in the sauce. It's sooo yummy. Use low fat sour one will even notice. Oh, also the recipe calls for flour tortillas, but I use corn because I think they taste better. Just fry them slightly in a tiny bit of oil first to soften them.
2. Ham and Cheese Pretzel Bites. Ok, technically these are an appetizer. But I made them for dinner Wednesday night. Goodness they were delicious! You know those yummy soft pretzels at the mall? I would bet these are better. For reals. I've made soft pretzels before, but these take the cake. They are a little labor intensive, but really not hard. Make em for a party.
3. Weeknight Bolognese. This sauce was off the hook! I changed the recipe slightly. Pete doesn't like chunky tomato anything, so I used a can of tomato sauce instead of crushed tomatoes. I also added about 1/4 cup shredded carrot and maybe a tablespoon of sugar to sweeten it just a bit.
4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Pie. Do I really need to explain this? It's like warm gooey cookie dough in a pie. MAKE IT. you probably have everything in your pantry to anyway. :)
5. Double White Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel cookies....with sea salt. I know, I know....long name. But I didn't name it! These are so good! I love peanut butter cookies and these just kind of take it to the next level. Especially if you're into the whole salty/sweet thing. I put some semi-sweet chips in mine too, because I like chocolate and peanut butter. :)

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Project Life update...

more than 2 months in and still going strong. i don't really have any more to say that i haven't already said. i still love this project. i posted yesterday on facebook about how much i love photos. my friend thought i was being mushy. i WAS. i just love pictures. i love how each one tells a story. i was watching a video of pics on Becky Higgins blog the other day. i don't know her, i don't know any of the people in any of the pictures but i just thought the whole thing was so moving. people living, people loving, babies being born, people dieing, little every day things, big events, good things, bad's all part of life and it's so cool!

people might think it's a little self indulgent or conceded or whatever to have a blog, or scrapbook or take pictures of yourself. it's not. tell your story! how awesome would it be to know what your grandma was like when she was in her 30's raising young children of her own? or what your parents were like when they first got married? pictures + words = awesome.

(these last 2 weeks weren't my favorite, it's been a bit of a rough couple weeks! but it's documented and done and I'm happy about that--it's about the good bad and ugly, kids!)
i have run into a slight hiccup in my process.....i'm already out of ink in my home printer. that kinda sucks. but in the printers defense, i have printed way more than just one picture a day. i think the way i process my pics in photoshop probably causes the printer to use more ink. i'm guessing?? i usually sharpen and saturate the colors a bit so i'm thinking that would take up more ink, right? i dunno. i didn't get the 100 pics the print pack promises, but i never thought i would anyway. i did think i'd get more than this though. anyway, last time i paid $50 at Staples but this time i got smart. hello, Amazon--duh! i love Amazon. i bought the prime membership a few years ago and it has been worth every. single. penny. i just ordered a new print pack for 30 bucks and free 2 day shipping. yeehaw. it's better than the 50 bucks and i figure if i sent my pics out to Costco weekly or monthly, i'd probably still pay the $30 a month + gas to get there so for now as long as i can get the ink for this price, i'll continue to print at home. we'll see.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

10 on tuesday...

10 things i love about living here. or maybe just 7. but still...i like living here even if I can't think of 10 things.

1. discovering new things. I keep finding all kinds of interesting things around here. as i've mentioned before, when we moved in this place was so overgrown and there was just weeds and leaves and more weeds and leaves everywhere. my mom and i spent and entire weekend clearing out flower beds that hadn't been touched in years. besides what was already overtaking the beds, i never really thought there was anything else in them. then spring came. (well sorta) and there are bulbs popping up everywhere! and flowers I never knew were there are all of a sudden popping up on the side of a hill. It's like something new every day. It makes me feel more connected, knowing that this place has a past. a past full of love and life.

2. the house is quirky. it's hall is long and narrow. it's bathrooms are old and funky, the kitchen is teeny tiny, there's little secret cupboards above all the closets and a ironing board built into the wall in the kitchen. it's funky, but i kind of love it. sure, there are plenty of things i would change. I'd knock down a few walls just to start with. but it's pretty cool the way it is too.
3. the view. we've lived here....8? 9? months now? and i still haven't gotten over it. i SO wish i could show you just how awesome it is. you'll just have to believe me. or buy me a zoom lens :D
4. homeschooling. i'm pretty sure the only reason why we're homeschooling now is because we moved specifically to this house. if we would have moved just about anywhere else, Jake would still be in public school and I'd probably still be complaining about the teacher, the homework, the other kids, the lack of learning or all of the above ;) not to say there aren't good schools out there. our school in Tracy, was actually really great, but all i'm saying is that i don't think i would have done this if we didn't move here and i'm really enjoying it, and the kids are too.
5. we seem to have a happier life, in general. we're all together WAY more than we ever were before. so much time was spent driving and commuting and waiting. now? Pete's commute is like 20-30 minutes--tops. he's home by 3 in the afternoon most days! he has friday's off which is not good for our pocket book but SO WORTH IT in terms of togetherness. we both talked about how yes, it would be nice to have that extra days pay, but how we're so happy to have the extra time would be weird to go back to a 5 day work week.

6. so many things to do and places to go. hiking trails, lakes, museums, the beach, parks, friends, the's all so close now. I love it.

this is lafayette reservoir. i have no idea what that tower is for, but the kids call it 'Rupunzel's tower' :)

7. chickens. raising chickens is fun.

Friday, March 04, 2011

A little bit brighter...

*The sun is shinning through the haze today.
*I feel more human than I have all week.
*Dad is going on day 11 in the hospital. But he's feeling so much better and we're all hoping he gets to go home soon.
*Things are still up in the air and feeling crazy. But a little sun shinning through the kitchen window, a little warmth on my face, makes all the difference.