Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Summer fun!!

Last week we had a bit of severe weather roll through.  The lightening was like strobe lights, constantly flashing!!  It was very weird.  It was like a mini-hurricane with the heavy rain and strong winds.  Thankfully it didn't last long, but it was long enough to do this:

The trampoline that Santa managed to hide seven years ago has reached the end of it's life.  I'd been waiting for this to happen.  Every time we had strong winds, I'd watch half expecting it to fly away.  The frame was bent and actually snapped in one rusty spot. It was getting to where it wasn't exactly safe anymore, so perhaps this prevented an accident.   At least it didn't fly into the fence or damage anything else.  I guess we got our money's worth.  The kids sure had a blast on it.  They would go through trampoline phases where they were obsessed with it daily to it being invisible for months.  Valerie thought it's demise was funny but Veronica cried.  I doubt we replace it because as Clint said -- it's one less thing he has to move when he cuts the grass!!


About five years ago someone on Facebook was giving away a pool.  They had just moved in and the pool was left behind by the previous owners, and they did not want it.  It happened to be just a few streets over, so Clint hurried over there, took it down and we got a free pool!!  We already had one, but this one was much bigger at 18' x 48".  We also had a great heavy duty pump that was given to us years ago also, so Clint rigged it up to make it work with the pool's connections.

Our free pool

We definitely got our "money's worth" out of that pool.  We are not sure how old it is, but it held up for four summers.  Last year it was iffy, but it made it.  We dragged out the liner last weekend, and it was starting to crack in a few places, so we decided not to chance it ripping.  We went pool shopping instead!

We ended up with this:

It's 20' x 48" and we bought the salt water system as well.  In the long run, it should save us time and money not having to keep up with the chemicals.  I have to say the salt water is so much nicer!!

Our backyard is far from picture perfect.  Little by little we've been working to make it nicer and a comfortable place to hang out.  I spied these pallet planters online last year and have wanted to do them ever since.  They add a touch of color and were so easy to do!  We made four of them and lined them up along the back fence.

Gizmo had to check them out too

We cleared all the junk off the back porch and I added pretty pots to brighten things up.  Maybe we'll get some tiki torches and citronella candles so we can hang out in the pool in the evenings.  Hopefully it will all come together so we'll have a nice outdoor space to enjoy all summer!

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Hello, summer!!

Another school year has come to an end.  This past week was busy with end of the year activities.  Wednesday morning Valerie had an award ceremony!  She got an honor roll trophy and a top scholar certificate.  Once again, there were so few fifth graders receiving awards.  You have to wonder if adjusting to middle school is that hard for some, or is it common core throwing them off?  Or is my kid just that smart?!?

Wednesday evening Valerie had her spring band concert!!  She has worked very hard in learning to play clarinet.  She practiced almost every night and learned how to read music fairly easily.  I'm amazed at how good they all sound for only being first year band students.  We are going to look into getting Val a better clarinet for next year.  We bought a good starter instrument, but she has had a few problems with it.  As much as she loves band, it's worth getting her something a bit better.

Thursday, it was Veronica's turn for awards!  We arrived super early so we could get a front row seat.  The school has grown much too small for the number of students, so if you want a good spot, you have to show up over an hour early for everything.  Roni got a trophy for being on the "A" Principal's list all year and a Literary Achievement certificate.

And today, Friday, was the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!!  I probably have the only kids who are sad.  Both girls were literally in tears.  Val plopped face down in her bed all teary-eyed.  Veronica ran off the bus sobbing.  They love school so much and are always so sad to see the year come to and end.  I am sad too because it means they are growing up, but I am also looking forward to a break.  I had gifts and cookie cake, so that cheered them up pretty fast.

Now it's on to SUMMER FUN!!  As fast as the year flew by, I know summer will go by even faster.  This is the first summer that neither daughter is going to camp.  They have gone somewhere since they were very small, so staying home all summer with no set schedule will be a new adventure.  Hopefully this mom can keep the boredom away!!

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Friday, May 13, 2016

Beta Club!!

A few weeks ago, Valerie came running off the bus with a paper in her hand.  I knew it was something for me, because she hand carries home anything of importance so that she doesn't forget to give it to me.

It was an invitation for her to join National Junior Beta Club at school!!  Wow, my smart girl!!   Of course I filled out the paperwork and sent it in right away.  I know nothing about Beta, except that it's for smart kids who make the grades.

Last night was the induction ceremony.  I have to say I was very surprised to find that there were only eight fifth graders invited.  There were only nine new members total.  There's probably over a thousand students in the entire school and that was it for Beta Club inductees.  Wow --  I know my Val Gal definitely earned her spot but I had no idea so few would be invited to join Beta.  She's one of the best of the best! Valerie's reading teacher had such nice things to say.  She commented that Val and one of her friends were the two smartest fifth graders and that she had her eye on them!

I'm SO proud of my girl!!

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Disney Photopass Pictures

I just got my Disney Photopass pictures!  It took a little longer than normal because I joined what is called a share, where the cost is split between several families.  Instead of it being $150, it was only $25.  The downside is having to wait until everyone's trip is over to get your photos!  We took full advantage of the photographers and after editing, I ended up with over 400 pictures.  Next I will get them printed in a hard bound photo book and I always get a Christmas ornament made.

We asked one of the photographers to re-create a picture from our 2013 trip:




This was a new one but a similar theme, lol

Too funny, right?  Anyway, I won't bombard you with a hundred pics so here's just a few of my favorites!

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Sunday, May 08, 2016


A few days ago I was working in my yard when I spied a puff of white fur under the hibiscus bush.  I automatically assumed it was Gizmo, because he's good at "helping."  He pretty much follows me everywhere and 'talks' to me while I'm doing something.  Helping.  I even said, "Hey Gizzie, whatcha doing in there? Just hanging out?"


I walked back to the front porch, and to my surprise there was Gizmo by the door.  Well, who is in my flowerbed???  I went back and spied through the leaves the prettiest Siamese face with crystal clear blue eyes.  Gasp... not one of my cats.  A new one.  So pretty.  And terrified.  He bolted before I could get a closer look - a blur of white dashing across the street into my neighbor's garage.

I kept an eye out for him, but didn't see him again until.....

Friday morning Veronica and I were in the driveway waiting for the school bus.  There it was - a faint mewing.  "I hear a kitty." Veronica says.  I knew it was THAT cat.  So we looked and determined it was coming from Clint's work truck.  I leaned down and called for it and spied the same blue-eyed kitty face peeking out at me.  Just then the bus came around the corner, so Veronica left for school.

I keep a bucket of cat food on the porch for the outside cats, so I put a small bit of dry food in the grass.  Kitty came out right away.  Hungry.  I went inside and got him a bowl of water and a can of food.  Kitty gobbled it up.  Then I got a second can  And a third.  Kitty was starving.  By now though, kitty was purring and rubbing on me.  He followed me a bit.  I sat on the driveway and called to him.  He came, rubbed on me and even sat in my lap, 'talking' to me the whole time.

He was obviously someone's pet.  He's not underweight and isn't dirty.  His ears are clean.  He hasn't been on the street long.  Maybe there's a chance he's just lost.  My guess is that someone dumped him though.  I can't imagine the confusion and fear kitty must feel to be left on the road by his family in a strange place.  He's super sweet and friendly.  He plops in my lap like he belongs there.  And he is just beautiful.

I posted him on the local lost pets Facebook pages.  I'll take him to be scanned for a microchip this week.  I hate to think someone is missing him.  He's a sweet, sweet boy.  Of all cats to be dropped off, it just has to be a Siamese.  A beautiful, sweet Siamese that we can't say no to.  We already have three inside cats and an outside straggler that comes and goes.  If no one claims him, I guess we just may have been adopted by another.  Welcome to the family, Bluebell.

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