Popcorn before microwaves

How much fun is it to make popcorn on the stove, they way we used to do it?  Let me tell you, it’s a blast.  I found Jiffy Pop at the store the other day and wanted to show the girls how we used to make it.  No microwaves, just the stove or an air popper.   I let them all have a turn shaking the little pan back and forth until we started hearing the popping.  They were so happy to hear that it was actually working!  After all, Zoe told me the other day, until she learned about Edison, she thought we always had power on the earth.  (hee hee)

So, After about 5 minutes of vigorous shaking, the popping stopped, we took the pan off the heat and opened it up, the smell was delightful!  And the taste?  Oh, so good!!!  It was light, not too buttery and it didn’t have that plastic taste that microwave popcorn has.

If you can find Jiffy Pop in your area, I would highly recommend it!


Two days at the beach

The kids get a break from school in the fall.  Something we never got as a kid and I’m sure some schools don’t have it to this day.  The Jr. High and High School kids get two days off, the elementary school kids get the whole week.  I am still not sure why they do this, maybe because school starts in the middle of August here?  (Too early, if you ask me).

While one break, the girls are usually bored, nothing to do, blah, blah.  This year I wanted to do something fun, inexpensive, but fun, none the less.  We talked to some friends and decided to go to the beach since it was going to be 100 plus degrees here in Santa Clarita.  What a great Idea!  We ended up going to two different beaches, Ventura and Zuma.

Day one, Ventura Beach.  Ventura is a wonderful beach for finding little treasures.  We saw little sand crabs, normal sized crabs and even giant crab legs, but no crab attached.  There were giant rocks out to the sea, with millions od muscles and barnacles attached that made a beautiful cove, little ankle splashing waves came up to shore.  We also saw sea anemone.   Then there was the other side of the cove where the 4 foot waves attracted some surfers.  The sun was shining and the temperature was perfect!

Day two, Zuma Beach.  Zuma, gotta love all of the surfers that come to Zuma Beach.  We got there at about 11 am, it was a little chilly, with overcast, but still nice and peaceful.  We had the almost the whole beach to choose from to find our spot.   Somewhere closest to the bathrooms is usually best for us.  We decided to sit close to the shoreline.   The girls went straight for the water, even if it was only 72 outside.  I remember doing that, drop your stuff and run for the water!!!

We had lots of little visitors to our spot and a beautiful view of the pod of dolphins swimming by the 25 surfers trying to catch a wave and there were some nice sized waves out there!  We saw a seal popping his head up to say hello.  There were a flock of Pelicans continuously flying on the pipeline looking for fish.  Our little seagull friends came right up to our blanket, not scared at all.  We even saw a bumble bee, which is something I did not expect to find at the beach.


The sun finally came out and then the day was perfect.  The drive home was scenic and mountainous, very peaceful and relaxing.  I hope it’s this nice next year  during fall break, we would love to camp at the beach for a couple of days!

Life’s a beach, when you’re on fall break…

First Day of School

Even though school started 6 weeks ago for us, I still wanted to share about it.

We are all excited about school starting, but I think I was more anxious.  I could not sleep.  I was so worried that Mia would have a bad experience again this year.

Rewind back to last year, First day of school, we were all excited.  Mia was starting Kindergarten, Zoe in 5th and Erika starting High School!  Boy, what a gap in ages, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.  So, I walk Mia into her classroom, just like all of the other parents.  When it’s time for the parents to leave, I walk to the door but Mia is holding onto me.  I told her that I had to go.  It’s time for learning with the other students.  She immediately starts bawling.  She grabs my waist, I pull her off, she grabs my leg and says, “Mommy, don’t leave me.”  I don’t know what to do, so I decided to stay for a little bit until she calms down.  Every time I walk to the door, she gets up and follows me and starts crying again.   I finally make my way out the door and there she is on the other side trying to pry it open.  I am holding it on the other side and the teacher finally convinces Mia to sit down and join the class.  As I walk to the car, I am now crying. This went on for several weeks.  I couldn’t stand it anymore.  Boy, if that wasn’t the hardest thing I have ever done in my life.  I didn’t expect her to act like that. The older two never had a problem, but they also went to daycare.  Mia stayed home with me, she was my little sidekick and we did everything together.

Day two of school, Mia is not eating lunch, she is crying, “I want my mommy.”  I end up having to eat lunch with her everyday.  The other kids were now getting upset that their mommy is not around, and why aren’t they having lunch together.  This also went on for several weeks.

Fast forward to the middle of the year, Mia is not crying anymore, and I am not going to lunch with her anymore.  Now, she is now having bellyaches.  I was getting seriously worried, she would go to the office and they would call me almost everyday to come and get her.  She ended up being severely constipated.  It was so bad that she would sometimes run a fever and be hunched over in pain, looking greenish-yellow.   At this point, I was seriously considering home-schooling for the rest of the year.  Her teacher, who happens to be a friend of mine, thought it was because Mia didn’t like her.  But it was just that she missed me so much, it was affecting her stomach.

Finally!  It was the end of the school year, we had survived!  It felt like torture sometimes, I felt like my heart was being ripped to pieces, but we made it!  WHEW!!

Summer was great, not a bellyache all summer….fast forward….

First day of school again.  I wake everyone up, in Zombie mode, from not sleeping all night, worrying that she is going to cry again and grab my leg.  I prepared myself for the worst, but kept and optimistic mindset.   The bell rings and I give her a kiss and a hug as we wait for the teacher to come out and greet us.  I am now starting to get nervous as the time comes to say good-bye.  The teacher takes roll at the door and explains what the kids will be doing that morning.  The moment has finally come, the teacher tells the kids to say good-bye to their parents.  We all wave and blow kisses.  As I stand there thinking, wow, my baby is growing up so fast.  It’s time, she walks into the classroom, turns around and waves one more time.  She is smiling!  Not a single tear this year.  I am so proud of my baby girl!

Of course, I turn around, and cry happy tears all the way to my car.

Happy as can be

Sweetie, we can’t buy that right now…

Everytime we go to the store my baby wants me to buy her something.  Sometimes, I don’t have the extra money.  I remember asking my mom and the response was always, we can’t afford it…UGH!!  I hated that answer.  Why couldn’t we afford it???  Well, my mom being a single mother of three kids, she had no money to spare.  It was hand-me-downs and powdered milk..YUK!  (That stuff was gross, but worked with cereal). I guess that’s why my mom stopped taking us to the store with her.

Now, we go to the store and I hear myself telling my girls the same thing…”we can’t afford it right now, we have bills to pay.”  I know the girls hate hearing that, but it’s just a part of life.  I think almost everyone goes through it at one time or another.

So, one time, I tell them we can’t get that right now, I don’t have the money for it.  Of course, Mia says, “well you can just go to the bank and tell them you need money and they will give it to you.”  HAHAHA!  oh, I wish it worked like that, sweetie!  Can you imagine, I am walking into the bank and and say, “hey, I am out of money, can you give me some?”  They would look at me and laugh me out the door.  Oh well, nice try homeybuns!    She will understand when she gets older.

until next time….hope your money grows on trees…

For the love of their dolls

My girls, love their dolls.  Their “Our Generation” dolls.  These are the Target alternative to the American Girl dolls.  For those of you who can not afford to spend $100.00 on a doll, these are very reasonably priced and just as durable.  I had a Baby Alive doll that I loved to play with growing up, but the creativity that flows from my girls is more than I could ever conjure up.

Last year, Zoe and Mia decided they wanted American Girl dolls for their birthdays.  They opted for the Target version instead and because they did, they were able to get the closet, the bed/desk and a few outfits each.

Here is Mia posing with the dolls.


This year for their birthdays, they wanted to add to their collection so they started looking on-line for stuff they wanted.  They also started looking at videos on how to make things themselves at home.  Since they got a few gift cards, they decided to buy a motor scooter and a couple of outfits. (and, of course, another doll).


The creativity has begun.  The girls started to make everything possible for their dolls.  So far, they have made an iPod, iPad, cell phone, stove, fridge, student of the month awards and pillows.  Yes, they even sewed the pillows themselves.  Everyday they are asking to get more materials…Tape, buttons, glue sticks for the hot glue gun and what ever else the video tells them to stock up on.

Zoe and Mias pillows. Mia’s is the one with the decorations.

Mia sewing her pillow

This is the refrigerator/pantry


With hours of creativity and making videos of their dolls playing, hanging out, going to school and shopping, the possibilities of fun are endless.  I encourage you to encourage your children to use their imagination.  Show them how to create stuff they don’t have the money to buy.  It’s as easy as an old shoe box, markers, tape, glue and trinkets you probably have lying around.


Here are the girls having a sleep over.


Until next time, have fun being creative!



Birthday girls (and the dog too)

Happy Birthday to my two youngest girls…Mia turned six last week and Zoe turns eleven next week.  Five years apart they are, and they get along marvelously (most of the time anyway).  Then there is Duke, our Yellow Laborador, he turned 6 last week also.

Anticipating the fun

Every year since they have turned three and eight we have had a single birthday party for them.  They both get to invite a few of their friends and we always have water play and fun games.  This year was no different, we decided to get a bounce house this time, along with a two foot deep pool.  It was a little too hot for the kids to fully enjoy the bouncer, but the pool was a big hit.

cooling off

The girls love the show Lazy Town so I went with that as a theme.  Decorating for the party was very inexpensive, The Dollar Store is great for party favors, streamers and just about anything you need for a party or shower.  We also printed the characters off of the internet, which Mia had a blast placing all over the house. My nephews girlfriend was generous enough to make the cake, it was beautiful and it tasted wonderful.  Homemade cakes are always great, my mom always made me, my brother and sister a cake on our birthdays when we were kids.


Since Lazy Town really promotes heathy and active lifestyles, I wanted to promote it too.  I offered apples, watermelon, grapes, celery, carrots and cucumbers as thier “sports candy”.  We did, of course, have your usual party favorites like, chips and dips and of course pizza, I also went with a large sandwich and lots of water to keep hydrated.  I did throw a couple pieces of candy in with a fruit smelling bouncing ball for the party bags and It seemed to be the perfect amount of sweet treat along with healthy snack.

healthy snacks for strong bodies

Birthday parties were few and far between when we growing up and even though we have a party every year the girls, they are not always big, but we make the best of it.  So, after all of the dancing, jumping, swimming and eating good food, the girls were satisfied, we were exhausted and everyone was happy.  I think we all slept like babies and had visions of ballons and bouncers in our heads (even the dogs).

Is it time for bed yet?

More water please!

Hope you all enjoyed our birthday party!

Until next time…

Bedtime babble

While putting my six year old to bed the other night, she started to get very talkative.  Going on about everything, that happened that day and about how she ate too much and how she wants to go back to Magic Mountain and go straight to Bugs Bunny World.  She then starts talking about languages.

Out of nowhere, she says, “Since you are from Minnesota, do you know how to speak Minnesotian?”  You know, like people from Mexico speak Mexican, like hola, como estas.” I am trying hard to keep a straight face, so I can explain without laughing at her. 

I told her that they speak English in Minnesota, just like they do here in California, only they have an accent (which I still carry a little).  People who speak different languages are from other countries, like Mexico or Korea (like her father).  Minnesota is a different state, in America.  I think she understood what i was saying, but I think it’s time for a lesson in Geography and languages around the world.

I just love this girl to pieces!

Until next time, adios amigos!


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