Sunday, February 28, 2010

Snow Orchard

Today was a sunny day. But the rain has been hitting the Valley off and on for weeks now. Farmers fear loss of their livelihood as the treacherous rains beat down upon their orchards. The appearance of many orchards have changed after this last storm and the trees once adorned with a fresh coat of blossoms have been stripped of their full coats.

This photo is of my orchard; you know about it by now.

The delicate white petals scattered across the ground look very lovely. As I look at this scene I daydream of a light snow flurry and I sense it's beauty. But the fact remains: I don't like snow. This is in fact, the only type of snow I may like. Sadly, the flurry of white petals on the ground actually means there is damage to the orchard and potentiality the amount of fruit.

Now I feel somewhat guilty indulging myself with this photo...but it is just so fetching pretty.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Welcome Home

My bio says I am a mother to five children. Has anyone noticed that I have only shared pictures of four? My oldest daughter, Jessica is in the Army National Guard. She has been away in South Carolina completing her AIT (Advanced Individual Training) for four and a half months and arrived home this morning. In this picture (which is not the best taken photo, I admit-- but it obviously means a lot to me!) Jenna was incredibly excited to go to the airport to gather up her oldest sister.

Jaye (as I have called her for most of her life) is almost nineteen. We were chatting on the computer last night I called her a Leaf....I am the Tree and she is an image of me but better---and worse. She has not fallen far from the ole' Tree. She is an incredible young woman!

Our relationship has been a struggle. We are both very strong willed and it has made for challenging times. But as any mother can attest to, the love for your child runs so deeply that often words cannot express. This is a fault I have: sharing how much I love my children to my children. Especially to Jaye. But fortunately our relationship has healed in different stages.

Last year I flew to SC to watch Jaye graduate from boot camp. I became a changed woman and mother before I even made it to her. Each flight, each stop...resulted in building a better Me. The day she graduated I sat amongst thousands of other proud family members and waited to locate "my soldier" after the commencement. I struggled to find her and panicked like any mother who had lost their toddler in a shopping mall. Once I found her there wasn't anything that I could do to hold back my tears as I held her. Feeling such love and the deepest pride for my daughter.This was healing Stage One. That trip changed me forever.

The next year had its ups and downs but something has changed further in each of us. In a blink of an eye we entered and passed Stage Two. I love this young woman. I am proud of my soldier, my daughter, my friend.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Red, Black, and White

Tonight was Connors 13th Birthday Party. Due to the crazy rainstorm a lot of the kids were unable to make it but it was still super loud and I know they had a great time!
Breakdown of things I learned today:
*It's a lot easier to remove three dozen helium balloons from a car compared to putting them in....especially when it is windy.
*Kids will eventually suck all the helium out in hopes to sound like cartoon characters. But seriously, who hasn't done this?
*Three and a half dozen hot-dogs can easily be devoured by a room full of teenagers.
*Boys dirty socks.
*Boys suck at air hockey but suck even more when "dancing" to rap underneath a strobe light.
*Boys have issues sleeping when at a sleepover; meaning they have no idea how to shut their traps until about 4 AM
*Feeding breakfast to teenage boys is like being in the lions den covered in steak. They can devour a loaf of home-made french toast, a pound and half of bacon, and nearly a gallon of apple juice then ask for the potato chips.

Ah............ everyone has gone home. Who wants to help me pick up three dozen popped balloons?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Birthday Boy

Today is the thirteenth birthday for my son, Connor. For dinner he chose his favorite place, Panda Express. Here he is in all his birthday glory! I made total effort to bring my camera and post on him since it is "his day"... So there he sat, posing for his momma and loven' every minute of it. Happy Birthday Son!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Camping defined by Kristi

Oh the joys of camping... on my own side yard. First I will clarify that camping is never defined with the words "tent" but only when used with the word trailer.
Because Eric used the trailer to go out of town with his friends this past weekend it is still sitting on the side of the house thus promoting numerous requests from Jenna to go "camping". Yes, she likes to "camp" like her mother. A trailer full of kids and a DVD (yes, flat screen and DVD player also comply with my definition of "camping") and everyone settled in to watch a Disney movie. I made a half dozen bags of mini-popcorn, handed out as many kit-kats and reeses, bottles of water and gatorade all while politely being asked to move my big head as I graciously played host. Just as the last kernel in my bag of popcorn had popped, requests for seconds had begun; thus more complaints about my big head.
With some kids choosing to sleep in the house and the two noisy and youngest ones left in the trailer it was time to go to bed. The giggle-fest had begun and I knew my long night had only just begun as well. It was raining and honestly the rhythmic dancing of the raindrops over head was medicinal. However the snoring from the master bed was enough to make me stare at the ceiling all night. So I laid on my little piece of heaven (a hard couch at the other end of the trailer) and kept reminding myself that I was giving my seven year old a memory by camping out on a school night...*chanting it in my brain the pattern of the raindrops*

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Where's My Cowboy?

In search of new scenery I decided to take a right turn onto a country road. I had never taken this route before and was unsure of what I might find. At first I only spotted new homes on large country parcels; not at all what I was imaging for my photo shoot. Disappointed, I had nearly given up on this random adventure when I spotted this old waterwell surrounded by other country fixen's! I KNEW I HAD FOUND THE PERFECT PHOTO OP! Just look at this photo: an old fence, a rusty trailer, a wooden ladder and yes, even a lazy country horse. I could not have pieced this scene together any better!

Okay, truth be told I would have topped it off like a scene from Open Range with a sexy Kevin Costner kinda-cowboy with arms crossed as he leans against the fence. But that is a whole nutha' kind of dream... OH YES! and he would have been waving to the crazy lady with the camera and inviting her over to sit for a spell *sigh*

Monday, February 22, 2010

Place of Fire

This is a Place of Fire. Not just a Fireplace.

There once stood a house on a small parcel of land. Several years ago a fire robbed this family of a home that sat peacefully surrounded by an orchard of orange trees. A brick fireplace is all that remains. Haunted amongst the crumbled bricks must lay years of memories for a family. I have driven passed it for a couple of years now and I have always wondered how it would present itself as a photo. I have stared at it and dissected the contrast of the brick hidden behind the dark gloomy trees. My gut instinct is that it provokes sadness. It is a reminder of loss for a family that I never knew.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Homework: Sparkly

Sparkly can be defined as "Giving off tiny flashes of light" and this was the homework assignment that I chose for the group. WHY on Earth did I choose sparkly?!? I thought it would feminine and fun at the same time; Did I think I would simply pull out a handful of loose diamonds and take some glamorous photos? Again, what was I thinking? This was such a hard assignment for me but I am also an over thinker. I literally walked about asking out loud, "Sparkly? Where can I find sparkly?" as if it were a lost dog and I was expecting it to run up and bite me on the camera.

This is all I came up with: A cheap glass window from my very own porch.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

I am Beckoned Once Again

Here I am back to one of my favorite orchards. Earlier in my blog several friends asked if I would share the orchard as the seasons came along. Here she is in her second season photo! Although I know that I am thoughtful enough to do this for them, there is no doubt that I also do this for me.

This orchard beckons me.

I try and drive passed it and yet it often forces my car to pull over and stare. Occasionally I see that it lures in other strange truck or cars and I wonder if they are drawn in as well. All I know for sure is that I can only visit the orchard when it sits alone undisturbed by the other visitors.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Flowers & Bees ... Oh My!

There is no doubt that spring is sneaking up in our own backyards and I AM SO HAPPY about it! As you can tell: I really enjoy taking pictures of mother natures offerings of her little pieces of beauty. I caught these photos on a quick drive up the street to collect the kids from the bus. (I am learning to take my camera everywhere with me because the moment I leave it home I miss a perfect photo snappen' opportunity!)

This flower gives me the dreamy sense of an oriental flower; although I am sure that it is nothing more than a regular ole' garden plant. Doesn't matter to the bee. I wish I could have snapped a picture of the pollen that he was carrying; his little legs were swollen with bright yellow pollen!

What a busy little bee!

Thursday, February 18, 2010


Spring is truly all around me. I embrace the bright colors as they stare me in the eye challenging me to take their portraits. Eventually I would like to get photos of all their friends: daisy, pansy, tulip...and The Rose. But for now it is the daffodil. This pair of flowers dared to laugh at me. The fetching Laffodils.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Stop thinking that you have discovered a typo in my title. How dare you!

Bee* was not a typo, but a clever way of introducing you to my photo! I have taken pictures of bees before. Actually it was more like bee...singular. But this was the first time I decided to sneak around a honey bee box! I realize that they were hard at work, but in a strange way so was I....I needed a picture for my blog! However, this is one of the few times I truly understood the value of changing my lens to bring the bees closer within my view! When I say bees I mean hundreds of bajillions of bees buzzing their song quickly & quite closely to my head! From behind me I could hear the shrilling background song/scream " I HATE BEEEESSSSSSSSSSS!" from my little boy, safely hidden away in the car as he watched his momma run from bees.

I think he was traumatized. How do I know this?


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Precious Valley

I was born and raised in the Central Valley of California. This area is known for its rich agriculture. Even though I am a city mouse (living in a country house) I feel comfort in the acres of trees filled with blossoms and fruit that surround me. As my son and I drove home this afternoon I noticed orchard after orchard full of bright orange dots. Some were on the trees while others appeared sprinkled on the surrounding dirt like confetti. This picture is beautiful, or so I think. I have stopped here before. I have even walked in this orchard pondering very important decisions that needed to be made in my life. The orchard heard my inner most thoughts and confessions. *Thanks Orange Friends!*
The ironic thing? I hate to eat oranges. I am not even particularly fond of the smell of a freshly peeled orange. However, I will gladly take a picture of their bright beautiful skin as it contrasts against the branches of green. Especially this particular orchard.

Orange you glad I took this picture?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sick Sweet Boy

Another day. Another fever. It amazes me how Matthew can have a temperature and still require a soft snuggley blanket. Look closely and you can see his sweet lil' sweaty tresses. I cannot wait for him to feel better. And for the day when I no longer have to give him the dreaded super-energy-medicine called tylemotrin!! (tylenol motrin combo!)

As I was about to upload his picture something very obvious in my office popped out to my eye. This is a picture that Jenna created for me several years ago. She may have been four years old?! (Had someone's dad dated it we would know at this very moment in time!) It is a drawing of Me and Jenna. I have seen other drawings... (and I mean dozenssssssssssssssssss) of drawings of her and the dog, a mermaid, a cow, or anything you can think of--but I just love this picture! Thanks Jenna Bean for your drawing!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I cannot wait for SPRING!

Imagine this: we are at the gas station; about to drive onto a busy road; crazy lady sees a flowerbed full of beautiful bright flowers; yells to spouse to stop the car; jumps out; snaps three pictures and whalahhhhhhhhhhhh! SPRING IS HERE!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Varoooom! Varoooom!

Today was my nephew Hayden's birthday party at Cal Skate. However Matthew has an obsession with riding bikes not roller skates. If you look real hard you can see that Jenna actually has her roller skates on. I will never forget how serious Matthew was taking his "ride" as he kept saying, "More quarters please?"

Friday, February 12, 2010

Flower or Weed?

Our back property is filled with these beautiful flowers. We realize that they are in fact weeds but still they are delicate & simply pretty. Ask any seven year old girl who can collect them for hours on end. They are without a doubt "flowers" ....and totally "the bee's knees". (okay I must admit that was about as cheesy as it could get!)

**"The Bee's Knees" is a term indicating excellence - the highest quality -- a saying that was begun in the 1920's

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ole' Ramshackely

Meet the ugliest, yet somewhat beautiful old pile of junk: we refer to him as Ramshackely and the name is fitting beyond explanation. Eric bought him a few years back and truthfully it works...most of the time. Once he was stolen and found partially over our fence and into the neighboring field. Maybe it's his character? Maybe he is an antique? Maybe they decided to steal it to save my backyard from looking like ye' old junkyard. We will never know. Regardless, I like to take pictures of Ramshackely because he looks so authentic. Again, through my old eyes I like this piece of junk.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

What Am I?

I am glass. I light up your life. I am not as old as I appear to be. Eric thought I was ugly. Kristi loves me. I actually come in a set of three. Kristi thought I would be a cool picture. Kristi can be crazy like that....yes, crazy like that!

Picture from the Past

There are few photos of me as a baby or young child. I am the youngest of three children. In this photo I am around one, Terri is one year and seven days older, so she is around two years old, and Tony must be near four. We all all born in October. Why am I sharing this? I am not too sure, but it is one of the few pictures that I have from my babyhood.
Seriously, I was bald for way too many years for being a girl. Sad little sparrow looking head o' hair!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday Toast Squares

I am definitely trying to catch up on days, but that does not mean this picture lacks sustenance! Matthew loves toast. It is actually obscene how much toast he can eat. However, his older sister told him he is old enough to make it on his own now. (I think she was just tired of making it for him when she lived here?) Just this weekend he has progressed into the "cutting it myself" stage of toast making. With his butter knife he created this masterpiece of perfect toast squares. He is three. Come on...can you make squares THIS perfectly?? I sadly must admit, this is the making of another Type-A personality in my household.

Super Friendys

Yes, SuperBowl can be just an excuse to hang out with friends. Meet Zulema Lopez, Mary Bream, Faline Gearhart, and once again, Jenniffer Rodriguez. Oh yes, and I am the short curly-haired one in blue. lol Jenn threw a SuperBowl party with all the fixen'.... :) There was one die hard Saints fan: Faline...she was totally out for blood. lol Bet you can't guess which one she is in the picture? Friendships....there is just no way around it!
The mural of the Fresno State Bulldog is a project Jenn's husband (Ron) has wanted for years. Jenn and I did it very recently and it ROCKS! I have been painting murals for years, but this was Jenn's first time....Let's Just Say: I think she has found a new calling in life!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Jump For Joy

This was not from yesterday, but it is a very recent one of some very special kids! The models are Hayden, Maddie, and Taylor Rodriguez. They are the kiddos of my BFF Jenn. I love them like they are my own.

Friday, February 5, 2010

What do you get when you mix: Rocks & Rain?

Answer: Wet Rocks.



Let me begin by saying I like gum as much as I like snow.

It has been a crazy week 'round these parts due to a particular three year old who has a double ear infection. I have decided that anytime I give Matthew a shot of Motrin or Tylenol (which has been non-stop since SATURDAY!) that he reacts as if he received a shot of HYPERACTIVITY! I am soooooooooooooo tired of his energy. Aren't those meds supposed to make him sleep? Sleep even a teensy weensy bit?!

Well this picture kind of shows how I feel. I am a mixture of every color in the world right now. Not sure what I want. Not sure if I want to be nice or mean or happy or crabby. Yes, I feel stir crazy and coo-coo and like life is a never ending circle of insanity. Gumballs are round---circles, get it?! (See how I am beginning to think here, people?!?!?) Enjoy some gumballs...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

"When I sit on my couch, this is what I see"

I never used to enjoy our fireplace. This year I really do.

Maybe it has something to do with the fact that we have a never ending supply of wood since we own a tree company. I was sitting on my couch pondering what I should share today and I realized that all I wanted to do was stay seated on my couch~in front of the warm fire. I must confess that I had to get up to grab my camera but felt great giggliness that my picture of the day was from me sitting smack dab on my couch. Only sad thing is the fire is not blazing. I shoulda thrown some kindling in just for ambiance. lmao

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Old Eyes

I like old pictures. Or at least pictures that look like they should be from an older era. I find great beauty in old barns, bridges, buildings, fences, trees...I think I have an eye for old things. Maybe I have old eyes?

Monday, February 1, 2010

It seems that all I did today was run around. This is my life. Add in one little boy who is on day three of a fever and it somehow just crosses over into the manic category. (As a result, tomorrow morning we go to the pediatrician. (Now that is something to look forward to, right?!) At least Matthew is sporting a mohawk....and that always makes life better when you have a fever.

Then there is Jenna. sigh What is up with her today? She is having issues with spelling and I swear, if you ask her to spell anything she flips out. BUT if you ask her to smile for the get a huge dose of THIS! Cheesy emotional girl...Her dad says she is all me. Pfffft! Lord knows, I do love her so.
P.S. Is it bed time for these kids yet?!

Catch Up Time!

I Promise I have Been Taking Pictures, Just Not Posting! Sometimes I just feel guilty about hanging out in my office all day. So even though I have been snapping away with my camera, the photos have not made it on here to share!

Jan 29: This is just a sweet picture of Jenna who was dying to start a fire on her own. Of course she was not going to be allowed to but I she thought that if she sat there long enough that her strict ol' mom might actually give into her wishes.

Jan 30: Trees. Man oh Man, I love trees. they are so"mystically" when they are bare. Ok so I use the word "mystically" for things I usually hate like vampires, but for trees..... it is just beauty!

Jan 31: Speaking of vampires.....I think I discovered their hide out.