Monday, May 31, 2010

Lake Isabella ~ Summer 2005 ~Labor Day Weekend

Fun at the Lake...The Kids...
The Lake...
Jeremiah age 2
Makayla age 5 1/2
The Sand...
The Sun...
...with Mom & Dad.
Fun Nights...Even Funner Days...
...riding the wave runners.
...playing with our friends.

...that's what we love about Lake Isabella.... EVERYTHING!

Go Climb A Tree...

...sharing special moments with ones we love.

...trying new things.
...believing in ourself.
...knowing when to accept help.
...and then knowing when to just sit back and enjoy the veiw.
All these things and more, I wish for you...
Love, Mommy :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Just Add Water

My reciepe for happy kids in the Summer?... Just add water!
As is true with most kids... I just cannot keep mine out of the water, come Summertime. (Not that I would even want to try!) Every year, just before school lets out, I buy one of those nice big Intex swimming pools. (BTW- where were those when WE were kids?) This becomes part of our daily Summer rituals.
Whether it is just my two- or a gaggle of neighborhood kids (plus my two)- from June to September, morning till night- our little backyard swimming pool sees plenty of action. These are photos of Makayla, Jeremiah and a friend, one such day, last August. And this particular day was just like nearly every other, last Summer- and every Summer. They had a ball.

Even Sadie the Cat cannot resist all that wet fun! (She likes to get up on the inflatable edge and relax with her paws in the water. (I know... STRANGE CAT!) Just look at the interest gleaming in her eyes! She almost looks like she is ready to jump right in with them!
Now that Summer is almost here again, we are looking forward to long, hot days, spent cooling off in the pool- followed by muggy nights, staying up laate, BBQing, and night swimming in our little backyard pool.
Aaaah.... the joys of childhood!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

JD's New Tattoo...The One That Just Wouldn't Go Away!

JD came home from Dad's house with this cool new skeleton tattoo. He felt like a super cool rockin' dude! And of course showed it off to EVERYONE! It was a nice tattoo...probably one of the best fakies that I have ever scene; and had real sharp colors too. (Of course not that you can see it so well due to my cell phone camera and all.) Oh well.

But for Jeremiah, the best thing about his new tatoo...was that it
No matter how many times Mom bathed him, or how hard I scrubbed, or all of the usual concoctions that I tried- that tattoo was stayin' on! (It was actually 3 or more days old in the above picture.) Much to JD's delight And my frustration. Now he really was part of the Big Boyz club. (You will all be happy to know that the tattoo is now completely removed; and we are awaiting the next time he comes home with another one of those Super Tattoos from the Diner! ~ I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Little Bit Of Miss Red To Throw Into The Mix...

These are some older pictures of Makayla & Mom (me!) at the L. A.
Kid Space Museum.

This was our first trip there in
2004, when Makayla's

Pre-School Class went; and Mom

went along as a volunteer parent.

We had a lot of fun that day. And
Makayla got a chance to explore the
whole place, and then we had a
picnic lunch with all of her
classmates. Thse pictures of us were
taken at lunch, and right before we
left for the day. Makayla was 4 years.
*We enjoyed ourselves so much thatday, that we decided to go
back later, when JD was a bit older, so thatthey could enjoy it
together. It was even more fun the 2nd time we went!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Rest In Peace Nana Cooper...

On April 1st, 2009 my Nana Cooper celebrated her 96th birthday in her home, with her family and friends. 2 weeks later; she passed away peacefuly in her own bed, in her own home.

Nana was a wonderful and very special Lady, and will be missed by all who knew and loved her. She touched many lives during her time here. She was a daughter, a sister, a friend, a wife, a mother of 3, and a grandmother to me. And then later to my own children. We were not bound by ties of blood...but instead were connected through ties of love.
I do not mourn her death. Instead I celebrate her life, and what she meant to all of us. I know that she had a full and happy life; and that now she has gone home to meet her God, and to be with her husband, and her family.She was a wise and loving soul. A rare woman, more full of life than people half her age. She had many lessons to teach. I remember many of them. 96 years is a long time to walk this Earth. We should all be so lucky.
May you rest for a thousand years in the Summerland... the Land Of Tir Na Nog.
Thank You Nana. You will always be remembered, loved and honored.
Carmella Cooper April 1, 1913 - April 18, 2009

Monday, April 6, 2009

First Day Of Water Play 2009!

What a great way to kick of the first day of Spring Break!!!

Today was the first day warm enough to pull out the old toddler pool for a little splashin' around!

The kids and I spent the first day of our Spring Vacation hanging aroung the house, kicking back, playing and enjoying not having to go to school. The kids woke up early and had breakfast while getting to watch the morning cartoons that they usually miss while in school. Then, while Mom got to clock in a wee bit of extra shut eye; Makayla and Jeremiah took turns hiding plastic Easter Eggs and searching aroung the living room for them.
Then, after they got tired of that, they started a new game/craft project. They divided all of the eggs up between them; and then drew faces on each, and gave them all names. After they had their 'Egg Babies', Makayla transformed an egg carton into their 'Egg Farm'. She also cut little blankets for them, while Mom made head kercheifs for the girls, and bibs for the boys. They had a whole morning's worth of fun on that activity! (Those are my favorite kind of activity...the ones that let them get crafty AND use their imagination.)
After lunch, we pulled out the play clothes and the hose for a bit of water play. That is when our little neighbor Vicka and her mother Natasha came over to join us. They are some new friends that we meet this year, when Vicka and her Mama moved here all the way from Russia. Natasha is the new wife of our neighbor's brother; an Vicka goes to Kindergarten with J.D.
The kid's splashed around all afternoon,until it got a little cold. After we changed into dry clothes, and our friends had left; the kids put on the old, "Mom, we're bored!" routine. So, I took them for a scooter ride around the neighborhood, where we stopped by our other friend's house, to see if they could play for awhile.
Brian, Michael and their Mama, Lorraine came over to play on the trampoline, and share a pizza dinner with us. All in all, I would say that we had a fabulous first day of Spring Vacation. Who can complain about craft project, water play, TWO playdates and pizza, all in one day!

J.D.'s Kindergarten Easter Party!

There is nothing like a good Easter Egg Hunt,
to get you in the mood for Spring Vacation!

Ms. Park's Kindergarten Easter Party was a whole lotta fun, for both the kids and the parents.

Mom volunteered to fill and hide he Easter Eggs for the big hunt. Then all of the kids came out and had a ball finding them.
Afterwards, the kids and the parents who wee there, went back to the room for some more Easter fun.

The kids counted their eggs, and checked out their candy loot.
Then, Ms. Park had some Easter Basket crafts for the kids to make.
First they colored, and then cut out the baskets, and then we put them together.
Then the kids sang a song or two that they sing in class, and passed the time until school got out.
...and then before we knew it, the bell rang, and it was time for Spring Vacation!!!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Makayla's Dance Team,

"The Best In The West"

WON 3rd Place in the

Southern California

Regional Hip Hop

Dance Competition!!!

WAY TO GO MISS RED!!! ~ We are so proud of you!
All of your hard work, and practice has paid off., and we couldn't be happier for you! I know that the going was getting a little rough. I know that you had hoped for a fun and care free
dance class; and instead you ended up on an extremely competitive dance team, with a teacher who expected quite a lot out of you all. I know that you felt like quitting at times, and I know it was not always fun, or easy.

In spite of all of that; I think that you have learned some valuable lssons about yourself. I think that you learned that when when the going gets tough... you get tougher. I hope that you learned that even if you aren't alwas 'into' something...that once you start, you must persevere and finish. I think that you learned the value of team work, and the imporance of each person's place on a team. I also hope that that no matter what you do...that you can always work hard, stick with it, and get good results as long as you give it your all. And if nothing else...I think that learning those lessons, is worth more than any old medal or trophy. (Not that your medals, and trophies are not ultra cool!)

So, I do not know what your future in Hip Hop Dance may be. We may try to find you a class that is less competetive, and more focused on having fun and learning great dance moves. You may decide to continue this class, or even to go back to Cheerleading. I do not know what the future has in store for you. But, beautiful girl, I do know this...whatever you do, you shine bright. Wherever you go, youare love, and however you do do your best. That is all i could ever want for you. More than trophies and medals...I want to see that glorious look of self satsfaction and independence that I see fro you right now.

Mommy Loves You... Never, ever forget that! I am always right behind you, cheering you on, helping you learn, and waiting in the wings in case you need some love and support. I am your biggest fan! ~ (Oh, and every one else in the family too!) :)



Way to go champ!!!

March 25th, 2009

Jeremiah really enjoyed taking his first Karate Class. He worked very hard to listen during class, and learn all of the moves for his test.

We practiced and practiced, and when the big day came, he did great.

This is Jeremiah waiting in line with his classmates, to have Sensei sign his certificate of completion.

He was so funny, when he got his Yellow Belt, he also thought he was getting the boxing gloves that he had seen the Yellow Belt class kids wearing. He didn't realize hat he only gets those right before he cmpletes the NEXT class! I think he was more excited to get the gloves than the belt! I don't blame him...they looked pretty cool! Oh well.

You can tell how proud and excited he was; and we are all very proud and excited for him too!

It is always great to see the kid's do something that they enjoy and are good at.

Gotta keep 'em busy!

This bottom photo is Jeremiah and Brian Mendez. Brian and his family have been friends of ours since Makayla and Brian were in Mommy & me Preschool together in 2003-4. They have been close buddies ever since. He and his family have joined us for most of the kid's Birthday and our annual Halloween Parties. So it was a pleasant surprise when we discovered that Brian and J.D. would be in the same Karate Classes.
Many times after school, or after Karate class; we would have Brian and his sister Ivy over to play. It gave the boys a chance to get to know each other one on one; and now they are just as good friends as he and Makayla. It was a nice change. Also now that Ivy is old enough to play here by herself, it gave she and Makayla a chance to get to know each other much better.

So now, we are gearing up for the new session to start on April 1st; when the boys will go into the Yellow Belt Class. (And we think Makayla has decided to give Karate a try, so she will be starting the White Belt Class that J.D. just finished. Hey, I guess I won't be needing to buy a new white belt!) That will be nice for the kid's to be able to practice together.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Jeremiah's First Mohawk


...for a couple of days anyways!
This was J.D.'s first mohawk. (And the only one, so far...I am sure there will be plenty more in his future!) It was given to him in late June 2008, by Daddy.
The only problem with it, was that it was too long to stand up well. It looked super cool that first day...and then kind of flopped ver in a funky 1980's skater dude hair do. Nice, but not at all J.D. ;so out came the clippers, and he got his first shave!
I do have to admit, that while I sorely missed my boys beautiful locks, that he looked very handsome with his head shaved. And much older too! In fact, he looked so good, that we have kept it shaved ever since last Summer.
I still miss his 'Little Boy Hair', but I think he looks better like this. (And I can't complain about not having to keep the hair out of his eyes!) Also, since he was a bald baby; it seems to suit him better.
But, I know we will always remember J.D.'s very first mohawk!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Spring 2009 Family Update

Makayla & Jeremiah at the Gardena Carnival;April, 2008

Daddy & JD at T-Ball ; Team Pirates.....Spring 2008

The Munchkins at the Gardena Koi Festival Spring 2008

(Makayla, Get your hair outta your eyes!!!) (Photoshop fix Mom?!)

Hey Everyone! I hope you are all well and enjoying your Spring! So glad that it’s finally here now. Warmer days, longer nights…and Spring Break is on it’s way. We are all getting ready for it now. The kids are finishing up their classes, both at school, and extracurricular ones too. A little Spring cleaning here, a little yard work there. Thankfully Old Man Winter has gone to bed, and all that wet, cold weather is over. (Although we really have nothing to complain about here in Southern California!) It is nice to start spending more time outdoors, and being able to stay out and play late. Soon enough we will be BBQing and swimming ‘til 8 at night. Ooh I can’t wait!
JD took his test to complete his White Belt Karate Class; and will now go on to the Yellow Belt Class. Yay Jeremiah! Way to go Buddy! He will be playing T-Ball on the Pirates, for another month or so. His Dad, Steve, coaches the team, and Papa Steve, Auntie Jess, and Uncle Edward also help out. (Co-Coach I think?) Also, Cousin Miah plays on the team too. (Such a cutie!) Makayla has found her own niche hanging out with all of the brothers and sisters of the kids on the team. They are an adorable gang of kids; with the little ones toddling around, all the way up to the tweens. I enjoy watching them play as much as the kids on the field. JD has been doing quite well in his Kindergarten class. He has been bringing home almost straight 100%’s on his spelling tests. (Poor guy had a fit when he got a -1! Talk about high expectations!) And while I am real proud of that, he has been in trouble for rough housing at recess. I know, I know…boys will be boys, but…So he spent a couple of nights without TV, and I am hoping that is enough. (But we all know it’s not. It never is.) It’s funny, for the most part, I can keep pretty good control of him at home; but when he’s at school, there is not much I can do. If anyone knows of a great method to keep boys from roughhousing at school; please let me know ASAP! Luckily it is just horsing around and not bullying. Otherwise…
So that is what Jeremiah has been up to, as for Miss Red…She is finishing up her last week of Hip Hop Dance Class, and getting ready to go to competition, next Saturday. Practice, practice, practice. (You have no idea how hard it has been for Ol’ Mom here, to memorize Karate moves AND a dance routine last week, in order to help the kids learn their respective routines!) Makayla also just finished up her very first Biography Report, on Princess Diana. (BTW- Did you know that is not her actual title? I didn’t either. Now we know.) She hasn’t gotten her grade back yet, but Parent Conferences are coming up this week… so I will be finding that and more out soon. Other than that, she has recently joined the after school Hula Hoop Club. She is enjoying herself immensely, and is really good at it. I love seeing them feel successful at what they do. Makayla also got a pink guitar from me at Christmastime, and I still need to get her some lessons for it. (You should have heard her singing Hannah Montana songs on Nana Dana’s Kareoke machine tonite! Hilarious!) When Makayla isn’t busy doing all of those things; she is busy working on her very first entrepreneurial effort. She is making and selling bookmarks at school. (She also catches and adopts out ladybugs to the other kids too!) She’s definitely got the genes for it. Papa Jerry is one of the best salesmen I know…and it runs heavy in the Carriere line. (It’s just too bad that Mommy here can’t get her art sold a little better!)
Now for Mama’s update. I am having a ball with my new blogs…maybe too much fun! I only started blogging at the end of February, so I’m still pretty new. Crafty’s Cuppa Coffee is doing the best. I have a lot of posts on that one, and 11 readers so far! 11! I think it’s kinda cool that people like what I have to write, and want to read more. From all over the place! So neat. Crafty Chick’s Retro Fantasy is right behind that one, with 7 posts I think, and 3 readers. My poor little art blog Crafty Chick Creations is the one with the least posts, and no readers yet, although there have been people that have checked it out, and commented on my artwork. So that is that. I have also just completed my first swap, on the Swap Bot website. I received 2 lovely packages from my swap partners. I still need to photograph them. My swap contributions were one of my handmade Paper Bag Albums, matching stationary, and a magnet for their fridge, for each lady. My packages were filled with my favorite; black & white stuff! Candles, a necklace, earrings, barrettes, paper clips, eraser, photo frame, a notebook and a few other things. Boy was that fun! Getting such a great package of goodies on an ordinary afternoon, instead of just bills, and junk mail, is fabulous! I highly recommend it to anyone.
Anyways, I am going to wrap up this post now. I hope that all of our family and friends are having as nice a Spring as we are. And let’s hope Summer is just as good! Happy Spring Equinox and Easter. I will try to post some updates every couple of weeks, or at least once a month. It would really be great if I can get some of more of my family and friends to check out this blog, and maybe exchange their blogs with me. I will be working on that in this next month.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring 2009 Family Update

Well, here we are, and it is already March. Where does the time go? We have all been pretty busy so far this year. In February, both children started new after school classes. Makayla began Hip Hop Dance Class; and Jeremiah started taking Karate Class. They both are enjoying themselves, and doing well.

This month, JD also began a new season of T-Ball. He is #13 on the Pirates. His Dad is coaching the team again this year, along with his Aunt, Uncle and Papa. So it's a real family affair! They have played their first two games, and will play another tomorrow.

Both kids are doing well in school. Makayla, in 3rd grade, has just completed her first report. She did a biography on Princess Diana. She enjoyed learning about her life, and I think she did a very nice job on it. Let's see if her teacher agrees!

Jeremiah, in Kindergarten, has been doing a great job at school. He has just brought home his 6th or 7th 100% spelling test, in a row! So far, he has earned a 100% on every test. I hope he continues to do this well! He enjoys his class a lot, and his teacher describes him as a real leader, (but we already knew that, didn't we?!?) Ms. Parks, his teacher, is the recipient of his very first, school boy crush. He thinks she is great, and brings her flowers, often. (Mommy is trying not to be "too" jealous! As until now, I was the only "woman" in his life! I guess I am going to have to get used to sharing him with the ladies.

We all took a day trip up to the snow, last month. And hope to do it again real soon. We went to our special spot, up in Wrightwood. It is in the National Forest, right above the Mt. High Ski Resort. We go up there, and spend the day sledding, and playing in the snow. They had just gotten 5' of snow, and it was amazing! I have never in my life seen that much pure powder before. (But, of course I am a Southern Cali girl).

This time we brought some friends along, and everyone had a real blast. Makayla has mastered the toboggan, and also helped me to build snow people. While Jeremiah spent the entire day eating snow. He ate, licked, munched and smooshed his face in it, so much that I was worried he would give himself frostbite, or snow burn! He climbed the sledding hill, on his hands and knees, EATING SNOW THE WHOLE WAY UP!!! Such a silly boy I have. :)

So, that is basically the big update on the goings on of the Family. We hope that everyone else is happy, and healthy, and enjoying the end of their winter, and the beginning of spring. Ciao.