Tuesday, April 28, 2009

San Francisco, Day Two

Sears Fine Food, always a wait at breakfast.
Hot Fudge Sundae!
Aren't they cute?
Along the boardwalk

Day Two - We went to the famous Sears Restaurant for breakfast. There was a line outside as expected, but we were seated quickly. The food was good, Mark got their famous pancakes and I had a seafood omelet - pretty good but really as good as all the hype? After walking around shops and and art fair, we went to the piers, had a wonderfully delicious ice cream sundae at the Ghirardelli Chocolate factory, visited some art galleries, visited where they made sourdough bread in the shapes of animals, and ate clam chowder in a sourdough bowl. Then we headed to Muir Woods. Absolutely beautiful! We stayed there till the park closed then headed toward the resort. We got to the resort late, but staying at Muir Woods was a highlight of the trip! The trees were unbelievably huge, and it was so calm and peaceful! We really missed having the kids to share that experience with. It was overwhelming to take it all in, there was so much to see.

The resort was nice, as soon as we walked in, there was a big fireplace with couches. We ordered room service (pizza) because it was so late, and dropped to sleep. Do you think we could have fit much more in?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

San Francisco Day 1

We arrived in San Francisco Saturday at noon and started driving around checking out all the sites. We headed to the farmer's market for lunch because it is only on Saturday and only until 2 pm. There were lots of vendors serving lunch and we chose Rosie's at the entrance, which was very California-ish.

Then we walked around the market and bought some fruit and dried apricots. The produce looked great! We hung around Union Tower for quite a while, walked by the sculptures, walked barefoot through the grass ( I know, can you believe it? It was Mark's idea to take off our shoes and just chill for a while), and watched some skateboarders. Very relaxing. Then we drove around scoping out the town. We also checked into our VERY nice hotel on Nob Hill and went straight to the spa - the amenities were included in our stay (woo-hoo!). The whirlpool and sauna were big hits with me, but Mark really liked the steam room. By this time it was late and we went to a late dinner at a very authentic Chinese restaurant in China Town. I ordered fish and eggplant in a clay pot but the waiter told me that I would not like it, as the fish was very salty and fishy tasting, so he suggested a very similar dish in a clay pot (which makes it stew-like) that included greens and eggplant (one of my favorite veggies). Mark ordered pork which he really liked. We had SO much food, and it was authentic, different, and good.

First day recap in San Francisco - loved all the fresh food, authentic Chinese cuisine, and walking around downtown San Francisco, enjoying the sculptures. The hotel was very, very nice!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I was challenged by a friend's blog to count my blessings, and after my last "dark" post, I thought that was really something that I needed to do!

My Top 10 list of counting my blessings from today.

  1. I slept great last night.
  2. The guy who is working on our back porch is "willing to do what it takes to set it straight" Phew!
  3. I have some staff members I can depend on, who do a great job, and are good at their job!
  4. I had a great staff meeting with Susan.
  5. We completed lots of school today.
  6. We have two squirrely squirrels to play with again. Thanks, Michelle, for squirrel sitting!
  7. I just got back from a great vacation! I can still close my eyes and taste some of the great food and wine!
  8. I am friends with some really cool AF owners who called today just to check in with us!
  9. My little girl loves to give kisses!
  10. I have some great neighbors and their sweet kids play well with my kids.
  11. My boys have great boyscout leaders in boy scouts and next year my son already knows a boy in the boyscout troop he's moving into!
  12. My daughter helped prepare dinner tonight so I could go chat with their awesome boyscout leaders.
  13. My kids are good at housekeeping.
  14. My husband makes me laugh. Sometimes it just takes a look at the right time. Even the mundane can be funny.
  15. I survived today, a day when I didn't know how I could possibly fit it all in.
  16. I serve a God, and it's because of Him I survived a day like today. If you don't follow God, I can't explain it to you, but I'd love to try sometime SO ASK ME.

OK, so I didn't stop at 10. I could keep going, but I still have work to do. Another blessing - it's only fun stuff left and my daughter offered to clean the kitchen.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Those Sneaky Mondays

I haven't posted in a while because I have been on a vacation! It was great, and I will catch you up soon on all the details. It seems like so much has happened since my last post. My shoulders are heavy tonight as I feel the stress of reality bearing down on me. It seems like such sweet relaxation always makes me realize how stressful the day to day is. I just don't know how to fit it all in and not be so tired. I am working on getting the staff to a place where I don't have to be as much hands on, but while we were on vacation, they underperformed - almost all across the board. Tonight I have been planning the sales meeting tomorrow to address the issues that became apparent while we were gone. I am pleased with what I came up with, but now it is late and I am tired. Too tired to finish grading and going over the school work my kids did while we were gone. So another Monday will come without me being ready for it. Those sneaky Mondays.

Partially I'm too tired because I couldn't sleep last night. I couldn't sleep because I was freaking out over the fact that the back patio we had poured while we were gone is a total piece of crap. The guy messed it up and it will have to be jack hammered up and replaced. I'd appreciate prayers that this situation will be resolved and we will not have to go to small claims court. We even had a builder come by today and he said there was no fixing it. Yes, it's THAT bad. (Mom and Dad, that's one reason why I haven't called. I just don't want to verbalize it. I'll fill you in after we talk to the guy who installed it.)

Maybe it's my lack of sleep, maybe it's the heaviness that is sitting on my shoulders, but sometimes I don't know how I can get everything done. I have to revisit what's really important when I feel like this. God is my strength and He will show me a path, a plan, a way for it to work out. I'm reading the book Sabbath by Wayne Muller and it is a beautifully written book that is really bringing me back to the importance of taking time out for myself and resting in the Lord. I just know I'm glad it's almost summer. Can I hear an AMEN to that?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Squirrel Sitting

How random is it that we babysat an injured squirrel last weekend?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recap - New Year Goals

The weather is turning so nice. I think about all that God has done for me and I feel overwhelmed with thankfulness and so blessed. Winter brings with it heaviness, Spring brings with it life and newness. I love new beginnings. That is why I guess I love the first of the year so much! Let's recap on my New Year Resolutions:

#1 - Exercise more
Well...let's just say I've had a good two weeks. I can see myself making improvements and my cardio has improved. Mark is keeping me more accountable as he is meeting a friend up at the gym 3 days a week and I hop in the car with him.

#2 - Read the bible more and pray more
I started off strong on this one, but with our new work out schedule, and my new work schedule, even the prayer time I had with Mark every morning has been replaced with us racing to get to the gym on time. I have been more consistent having bible time with the kids, but I have not set time aside for myself to spend with the Lord personally. I am feeling like I really need to focus on this, and that's the great thing about revisiting goals, I honestly forgot I wasn't spending any personal time with the Lord since I do have meaningful time with the kids in school. (Gasp! Is my spiritual life in that bad of shape that I didn't even miss it? I hope not, but I will be evaluating my heart. If you gasped in horror, pray for me!)

#3 - Learn to take better pictures
I have worked on this some - not that I've taken the time to post them. Raeley has found her niche here, though. She is saving up money to buy a camera and she spends more time taking pictures than Mark and I put together! She has quite an eye for it!

If I were to write down my resolutions on paper with little boxes by them, to check off my progress, it wouldn't look so good, but I am pleased. I know I have missed out a lot in my relationship with God on not spending more time in prayer and in the Word, but I have been praying more diligently with my children and reading the word with them more consistently. I have fit working out into my schedule and I've adjusted my lifestyle so that it is now easy to fit in, it's not forced. And for the picture taking, now my daughter can teach me because she has learned quite a few cool things lately on her own and I look forward to learning more with her. And, because she's so good, she can take pictures for me and I can devote my energy to something else and still have the pictures that I want!

I have had a good year so far, and I've added in working more. I was SO dreading having to take on more responsibility with work, but it needed to be done, it's adjusted into our family's lives well, and didn't stop me from moving closer to my goals. And you know what, it may be silly, but one of the biggest accomplishments lately has been eating healthier breakfasts. It may seem small, but it is huge to me, and something I just didn't feel like I could tackle. Now that I got the guts to try, I am so glad I did. I hope this encourages you to start something that you think you should be doing but don't know how to fit it in.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Squirrel

One day, when the air was crisp and the air hung with drops of moisture, the kids were playing in the yard, grateful for a chance to run outside after all the seemingly endless rain. My two boys noticed a squirrel who was not running away as they played around it's tree. It seemed to be upset about something, so after watching it for some time, they caught it with a jacket and carried it home. Jonathan ran ahead to share the exciting news and to see what they could put it in. Raeley came walking home carrying a jacket that housed a terrified little squirrel.

The squirrel, being the token of much affection, seems to be doing nicely, and is a very hospitable furry friend (even if he is a member of the rat family - apologies to my Alpha Gam sisters!). He scurries all over the floor and follows us around. You never know when he's going to scurry up you like a tree and sit on your shoulder or head. His little claws are a scratchy tickle. It's fun to feed him scraps of bread, banana, or cantaloupe and he loves peanut butter. It's so cute the way he sits up and nibbles! We are having so much fun with him!
For you moms who may be worried about germs, squirrels are not prone to carry rabies and they do not really bite when they are young. They do not make good long term pets.

When I was in Jr. High, my sister found a few baby (newborn) squirrels that must have fallen from their nest. That will be another story for another day, but it has been so much fun reliving the tales of Wiggy the squirrel, the lone survivor. We have named our squirrel Squiggy in his memory.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Weekly Report

This week has been a blur. I have had quite a bit of work to do for our business, but we managed to get through it. I would like to tell you what my kids have done, but apart from Jonathan taking an adverb test, and me teaching the boys to diagram sentences (yay! I love diagramming sentences! Fun!) I can't really remember what else they did in Grammar. I also checked to make sure they did their math work, but I am so far behind in grading, I don't know what they are doing or if they are even doing it right! We are covering poetry right now, and I borrowed a book I really like from Jane. She tutors my kids one day a week, and the book is called Scholastic Guide to Poetry. They are specifically working on couplets, alliteration, assonance, and onomatopoeia. Raeley is working on a paper of Joan of Arc, and we are winding up the unit on the Middle Ages. The kids are working together on a book on the computer to summarize what they have learned. The kids are crocheting during read aloud time, which is now poetry since we finished the book Adam of the Road. Raeley and Robert have also started teaching themselves calligraphy this week. The kids are getting ready for the Medieval Feast we will be having in a few weeks and they are drawing their own coat of arms. Favorite poems, anyone? Let me know and I'll read them to the kids.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - The Squirrel

I've been so busy lately, I haven't even posted about the squirrel!