Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What I Learned in July

The black screen of death on your computer is a bad thing. It isn't the end of the world.  Though it certainly seems like it in the moment. The lesson though is back up your stuff.  It really is that simple. I also learned what a time suck electronic devices are too. 

I am also reminded this month that new ventures excited me.  My hubby and I have started making shot up picture frames. These picture frames have genuine bullet holes. It feels good to make something.  Though my main contribution is puling staples out of broken up target frames.  I have a new respect for staples. The wood in the frames is totally recycled from our local shooting range and their busted up target frames. A portion of the proceeds are being donated to the local junior shooting program. Who says a shooting range can't be environmentally friendly- shoot and recycle. Locally our frames can be purchased at TENEX.

I am reminded that there is wisdom in Kung Fu Panda 2. I went with my youngest to see Kung Fu Panda 2 as part of the summer movie express.   I loved several quotes but this one below is sticking with me.

Po to Shen
You've gotta let go that stuff from the past. Cause it just doesn't matter. The only things that matter is what you choose to be now.-Kung Fu Panda 2

I am linking up with Chatting At The Sky and What We Learned This Summer

Monday, July 28, 2014

Booking It July

Check out what the ladies are reading over at Life as Mom. Once again sucked in by the hot reads table at the library.  That just proves that displaying books prettily gets readers to pick them up. 

I read Astor Place Vintage by Stephanie Lehmann. It is about a vintage clothing buyer and proprietor of a vintage clothing store that finds a journal sewn inside the coat.  The journal belonged to a young woman who wanted to become a clothing buyer for a department store during a time when woman faced some challenges in this field. It was a light enjoyable read. I wish it was a little more fleshed out especially at the end in regards to how Olive story ended.  It was a quick summer read.

I also read The Expats by Chris Pavone recommended by the Modern Mrs Darcy.

An international thriller, The Expats is the story of a seemingly ordinary working mom, Kate Moore, whose husband, Dexter, is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg—a move that will unravel everything they believed about each other. Kate and Dexter have struggled to make ends meet, so they jump at the chance to start a new life abroad with the promise of rich rewards. But Kate has been leading a double life, and leaving America forces her to abandon her dangerous but heroic job. She soon discovers that it will be harder than she thought to shed her past, especially while coping with the weight of an unbearable secret. Dexter seems to be keeping secrets of his own, working long hours for a banking client whose name he can’t reveal. When another American couple befriends them, Kate begins to peel back the layers of deception that surround her, revealing a heart-stopping con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life. - Amazon

I really enjoyed how the story unfolded. It was a good compelling read. I also read The Accident by Chris Pavone as well. This one I enjoyed even more.  Chris Pavone slowly unfolds this story.

As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder. -Amazon

I also read The Phantom of Fifth Avenue by Meryl Gordon. This is another book about the mysterious heiress Huguette Clark.  I once again came away from this book thinking that Huguette was not crazy but eccentric.  Huguette was wealthy beyond imagination and I don't think we can understand the burden and privilege that comes with that fully. This book also confirms to me once again that her personal nurse took advantage of her relationship with the heiress even if the heiress didn't feel that way.   There were also others in her personnel circle such as her accountant and lawyer who also took advantage of  her. This book delved more into the will contest and I found that fascinating. I did a previous review on the book Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman. Bill Dedman broke the story on Huguette Clark so his book was also quite interesting if you are fascinated with   the story of Huguette Clark.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Summer Linky Love

Summer is here at last.  Lately, we have been in the HEAT! Here is some linky love.

38 road trip songs - Oh so good!  This is the ultimate round up

10,000 steps mystery Demystified - This was interesting.  Here is a little bit about my Fitbit Journey

Books to Teach Kids Math - This was written by a local homeschool blogger.  I have an reluctant math learner at my house so I will be checking these out.

Who is technology smarter - Preschoolers or College Students  -100 Dollars a Month take on it.

The Real List from a guest post on Confessions of an Asperger's Mom on school supply lists for Aspergers and ADD. This is a good funny read.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Journal Experimenting

I have been experimenting with different types of journal writing.  This past spring I tried keeping a bullet journal. 

It was a little to intense and I went back to my Handy Dandy Notebook.  I basically use a cheap spiral to schedule and keep notes in.  I have streamlined it a little based on some ideas I got from the bullet journal method. I am keeping my scribbles under my schedule for the week. This made it a bit easier to access my notes. I also liked the symbols for looking stuff up.

This past week I have been using Life as Mom's post it note to do list. I love that my too do list is on a post it notes.  If it doesn't fit on a post it, you don't do it.  I do a lot of scribbling of notes and this doesn't really accommodate this though I can put those on the backside of the paper.  I am finding myself accomplishing more.  That is always a good thing.

Journaling and to do lists are so personal.  I am constantly tweaking my journal/schedule/to do list.  I know that I am a jotter and I have to have a landing place/writing place for all my notes. The spiral solved that but it still isn't always easy to access my notes.  So I am working on that part.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Geocaching in Whatcom County with Kids

Here are some good beginner caches if you want to geocache in Whatcom County.  Don't know what geocaching is?

***Always check for availability. This simply means read the cache description and comments to see if the cache has been found recently.  Occasionally these caches are muggled  aka people take them. Make sure you sign up for a FREE account.

CACHES YOU GOT TO CHECK OUT (this is only a very small sampling of caches in Whatcom County)

WAStatePks100: Peace Arch Cache -Print out a passport here and stamp it with the special stamp found in the cache. Read the cache description for the lock combo. Part of the Washington State Park Centennial GeoTour. Collect 50 stamps on the same passport and receive a special 50 park coin.

Birch Bay
WAStatePks100: Birch Bay -Print a passport here and stamp it with the special stamp found in the cache.  If you got Peace Arch stamp already just stamp Birch Bay in the appropriate spot. part of the Washington State Park Centennial GeoTour.

Mt Baker Council, Cache to Eagle #10 - This is a bit of a hike but doable for preschoolers. This takes you to a little know part of Birch Bay State Park. Park over on the camping side. It is part of the nature trail. **** This cache has been archived. (2015) Still great little nature trail to check out.

Jensen Family Forest Park - This is a little known park.  There is some GPS bounce but the cache is large. Little kids will like this path through the woods. This could be mosquito city in the summer so pack some bug spray

Return of the Slidepark - This is at a park with a slide.  It is a large cache.  This is the perfect first time find.  Remind kids about using stealth.

Griffentown Park - This has Ferndale's Veteran's Memorial.  Also it is a good place to train watch.

Swirley Revenge - This is near the river at Hovander Park.  This takes you to see something neat. It also along the new Nooksack River Trail

Your Towers are Weak, Old Man - This is a little tricky.  Yes it is in the tower.  I have found adults aren't so good at spotting it but kids will see it.  This is a great one for elementary kids. Read the notes. If you got little people take time to play on the playground and feed the farm animals (summer)

Tower of Flower - This is at Fragrance Lake in the tower.  The first time we looked for this we found a letter box outside of the tower.  This one will surprise you with it's cleverness.  This one is a bit on the harder side.

There are so many choices here so I will give you just a few but check for the endless selection.  If you are new cachers stick to terrain 1 difficulty 1 and look for bigger caches.  Nothing is more frustrating to kids then not to find the cache .

Telegraph Trail - Think small and magnetic

WAStatePks100: Larabee  We are lucky to have 3 State Park Caches in our county. This is a lovely drive go on a clear day for a wonderful view. Make sure you print a state park passport and stamp it with the special stamp.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday - Hovander Park (2004)

Charlie - 2004
I love how my son's sweatshirt matches the tractor.  That was totally not planned. Hovander Homestead Park use to have two tractors kids could climb on.  It was a rite of passage for the kids to stick rocks into the gas tank on top.  The tractors are no more but now the park has a most excellent play structure.  We have spent many hours at Hovander Park during the summer feeding the animals and exploring the park.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Black Screen

Well, there has been an interruption to my blogging.  My computer hard drive crashed. I will be back with new content soon.  I am typing this on a borrowed laptop. I have A LOT to say and a few pics to post.  Hopefully this is just a pause to my blogging.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

4th of July Pictures

It was really really loud around here on the 4th.  We had a good time with a little bit of fireworks.  We sat in the driveway and watch everyone explode theirs.  There was a lot of money that burned up in a blaze of glory. These were huge displays too.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Flashback 4th of July Photos

Cody, A, Big E, and Charlie
This is probably one of my favorites.  All the boys are watching the fireworks except one.  We usually watch the fireworks from our street.
Cody, Charlie, Princess of Quite A Lot, Cheezer

For several years, we attended the Blaine Washington Old Fashion Parade with our friends.
The Diva and unknown photo bomber kid
This was also taken at the Blaine Parade in a different year.  Do you see a pattern we always sit in the same spot. I love the expression on the Diva's face and missing teeth.  I have no idea who the kid in the background is.  I don't think it is her brother.
Blaine, WA
There was a house in Blaine that had the Statue of Liberty painted on it.  I thought it was neat.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mount Vernon Parks 2014 Geocoin Challenge

This past Saturday we visited 15 Mt Vernon Parks In Mt Vernon Washington.  It was part of the Mount Vernon Parks 2014 Geocoin Challenge.  We had missed the event but had heard that there was still coins available.  So we decided to give it a go on Saturday. The weather was overcast and a little bit on the rainy side.
We started our Adventure at Hillcrest Park
Charlie and Tigger were ready
First off, I had no idea how big Mount Vernon was.  It is a favorite place for me to thrift but evidently I had just scratched the surface. We started our adventure at Hillcrest Park. 
Cody at E Division Pocket Park
Cody, Heather, Charlie on the Ted Reep Trail

Bakerview Park
The Boys
All the caches were unique.  I particularly like the MV Parks sign and the one at Lions Park.  Lions Park is one park you can see from I-5. I have always wanted to stop there. The park sits right along the Nooksack River.

One of my favorite parks was a little hidden pocket park next to Fire Station #3.  This is such a little secret but would be great to take a picnic lunch.
Our children were DONE!
We ended our adventure at Little Mount East Trail.  This is one place I would like to re-visit as they have a lookout.  We didn't get a chance to visit the look out but on a clear day I think it would be awesome.  There are lots of trails here. If I had this to do all over again, I think I would of started here.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

What I Learned in June

I learned it is totally possible to have Magic Moment and In the Midnight Hour stuck in your head at the same time.  I swear for part of the month my head was having some crazy song off.
High School Ninja
Last Day of 10th Grade
Change comes weather or not we embrace it or not.  My son graduated from 5th grade.  No more elementary school age kids for me. WOW!  We are entering a new stage of life for me.  Did I mention I will have a 11th grader as well next year?

Sometimes your prayers are answered by an intimidating in size nurse who takes your very reluctant and uncooperative  teenage son's blood pressure. It is amazing the attitude change.

I learned I still enjoy working with kids.  I volunteered at Vacation Bible School as a crew leader.  Our group was all girls except for Chuck. I enjoyed it.  I loved being silly with the kids. 

Lastly, it was once again re-confirmed to me that a kind word goes a long way. "Be an encourager. The world has plenty of critics." I got that from Money Saving Mom blog. That phrase keeps boomeranging around my brain. KINDNESS MATTERS!!! I have been on the receiving end of some heavy judgement from people who don't know the facts.  It hurts.