Loved this today!! Slow down and put your whole heart into everything you take on. ❤

Thank you to Cultfit for the reminder today!!!

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SEESTERS xo

A sister shares childhood memories and grown-up dreams. ~ Unknown

Jackie and I shoulder to shoulder, against the world

My younger sister and I, 1988 on my first day of kindergarten going to a new school half way through the year. I remember being scared to not know anyone in a new school. Looking at this photo though leads me to believe that I had a nice pep talk given to me from the mouth of my little sis and partner in crime. I was always good at leading her and picking up her sentence where she’d leave off. But she was also good at sweet encouragements and always believed in her big sis.

This union of sisterly friendship has carried into our adult life and I am ever grateful for that. I really don’t know what I would do without either of my sisters really. Jackie still looks to me for answers in life the way she seemed to early in our childhood. Though I thought I had all the answers being the oldest… and I still think I have them all. Some of the time. (And she believes me!! Don’t tell!) But in all honesty her and I bounce off of each other with ideas, encouragement and questions still all the time. I’m sad I don’t get to see her as often as I’d love to, or that our kids would love to, but that makes the times that we do even more special.

This weekend was an extra special moment to come visit…

She did it!!

My sis and her husband both ran their first half marathon together at the San Diego Rock N’ Roll Marathon this past weekend. They were super excited to set out on this venture together, and I was very proud to see them accomplish it! They had a couple of set backs along the way of training but were still very determined to get out there and finish. Our Dad ran it with them in his usual supportive fashion! They each had a unique story to run for: Jackie set out on this goal a mere four months after having her second baby… Awesome motivation right there! Her hubs Andy was out to do it with her, winds up pulling a calf muscle half way into the training program, as well as had an appendicitis a month before the race… My Dad trained his tush off for a Cabo trip that my parents took a couple of weeks ago.

Needless to say they wore their reasons, LOUD AND PROUD!!

GAVE BIRTH 6 MONTHS AGO…APPENDECTOMY 4 WEEKS AGO…CABO 2 WEEKS AGO…

It was a beautiful day down in San Diego, perfect race weather! I didn’t brave the crowds and street closures at the race but our Mom and I had the post-race breakfast ready to go for them upon their return. We had a champagne toast and hashed over the pain and stories of their experience. That’s what I love to hear, everyone’s personal take on the experience and how they got through it.  All in all it was not too hard for them, which was encouraging for them to feel as though they could do this again! (I plan on doing the next one with them, if it can work out that way) The cool thing was that my Dad got to hop in on the drums at one of the band stations set up along the way. He did Blink 182 with a band set around mile 9. He was totally happy about that, since he was scheming it up in his head to try to do this during the race I know.

I’m so happy for my sister and bro-in-law to have accomplished this! It’s definitely a huge deal to take on goals with an area in life that is not your forte and then totally DO IT!! Neither of them were really  into running before this, so it just goes to show that anything is possible. I think my sis might even be obsessed about medals now like I became… Maybe she caught the B-U-G!

Either way, I’m so proud of my sister for this accomplishment. I know that she can do anything she puts her mind to really and this is one of many ways that she shows it!

ROCK ON JACKIE AND ANDY!!! 🙂

 

Now she’s gone and done it…

“Very early, I knew that the only object in life was to grow.” ~Margaret Fuller

She went and turned seven!

This sweet little toothless-wonder is growing up TOO fast!! There are days when

I think back to my baby girl, the first ‘Little sunshine, who makes me happy when skies are grey…’

I miss that little face!

Every year I ask myself the same queston..”where does the time go?”

and every year I get the same answer.

……….

Ella’s birthday’s through the years.

Time goes, you say?  Ah no!
Alas, Time stays, we go.
~Henry Austin Dobson

Interesting. Now is it time moving through us, or us moving through time? Whatever the answer, moving forward through these years, there hasn’t been another like our “Boogie Bear.” She brought so much love into this world, seven years ago today. As hard as it is to see how much she has changed and grown up already in just a short span of time, I am so proud of her growth! She is the sparkle to everyday….questioning, reasoning and thinking her way to the ends and outs of life already. I feel so lucky as her mama to guide her through life while I can. I just know this little girl has big dreams counting on each of these candles today!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ELLA ARIA!!!

The Empty Nest: Part 2

To follow-up on our lovely little nest find:

Conveniently spread out over the span of a couple of weeks, we took our time with the study of our nest. We used a couple of bird worksheets (here and here for a few ideas if needed!) The kids also made this nifty little bird mobile which we found the printable for on this site. We changed it a bit however, and decided that it needed a sturdy oatmeal box as the tree and real leaves to make it more realistic. Fun stuff!!

The bird mobile

Then there was the bird nest experiment, that I found on education.com. I also needed to adapt this for our own use. This experiment could have been more thorough had we already invested in a microscope and some petri dishes, but we just aren’t there yet. It was a very neat little experiment though. I had Ella write out her official hypotheses on whether she thought there were other living organisms in the nest, besides the bird and egg/s that inhabited it. She decided that, No, it only has seeds and probably no other ‘living’ things really.

She was right… (unless of course a microscope would have shown otherwise.) But our findings after leaving the nest under a hot lamp for a few days, was that nothing else had set up home in the nest after all.

Come out, come out, wherever you are…

Looking for clues

After discussing the reasons why birds make nests the way they do, and the benefits to making a nest in a hidden, far to reach place, we watched a couple of videos that I was able to find on YouTube of a real bird building its nest. Then I challenged them at making a replica of a nest and for a minute we joked that they should make it without using hands! They quickly saw what a hard thing that would be to carry out, and now appreciate the amazing skill that birds possess to create a nest using only their beaks!

Here is what they came up with:

Looked pretty good to me!! (Bendaroos, yarn, plant base stuffing and burlap made nice materials for that.) While their nest wasn’t as structurally sound as the real one, its colorful style added so much ‘flare!’

Speaking of nest styles, the nest that we found had one particular clue which stood out about what type of bird was living in it. After desperately scanning several sites to try to identify this nest, we narrowed it down. I should add that this bird nest identification business is a tricky thing! We noticed that there appeared to be a hole towards the bottom of the nest and that the description of a House Sparrow nest stated that it might have a hole about to the bottom of it. Normally the sparrow nest might be taller than ours, but it also depends on the location. The position in the tree that we found it was about roof height which is also a quality of that type. Luckily we also saw the egg which was a smaller greyish, white color with speckles and about the size of a dime and connects it to the House Sparrow description as well. There were plenty of qualities that immediately crossed off other birds from the list, such as mud used on the nest, an enclosed nest, many feathers used throughout the design and the type of grasses used.

I think all clues point to one answer in my non-expert bird opinion: It’s a House Sparrow nest!! 🙂

Overall the nest study turned out a success and was a fun way to end the ‘official’ school year these past couple of weeks. Be sure to be on the lookout for abandoned nests… it just might be the inspiration needed for a little study on the sweet little winged friends, whom love to bring us happy song!

“Did you ever see an unhappy horse? Did you ever see bird that had the blues? One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses.” ~Dale Carnegie

And then there were Legos…

Some of the best days are spent doing things I didn’t plan…

Like when Gavin is begging me to build him a Lego house.

And it literally takes me the bulk of the day to fulfill this wish for him. He know’s mommy has never known her full potential at Lego building and seriously doubts a successful outcome, but he had every bit of faith in me with this assignment.

 

I couldn’t resist a couple of details, like the flower walkway next to a pond… or the fancy barbecue on the upstairs deck…

 

And of course we have the living room… a side from the kitchen and bedrooms.

Yes, that’s a drill on the coffee table, why I don’t know. 🙂

Gavin and Ella both asked for the garage.

It was definitely a Lego day and mostly because we are three days out from the last day of school, workbooks are drying up, and summer fun days are starting to nudge at us. We took a run in the morning through our “old downtown” and had some real interactions with map/key concepts as well as stopped in the pet store for some learning. The kids got to pet a few snakes, Ella pet a scorpion and they watched the effort that goes into maintaining all the animal cages. It was an eventful day even though the Lego’s ended up as the bigger portion.

But every good day must come to an end, and the creation met its tragic end…

 

It’s a tough thing to see hard work fall on the floor to a million pieces. But what is remembered is the fun that was had while it lasted!

And there’s always tomorrow….

P.S. Lego mini golf