Archive for May, 2006


It’s All Greek to Me

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

I can still hear the Greek music ringing through my ears. When I close my eyes I can still see the little “Greek” dancers in Jennifer’s class.


It’s Jennifer’s 1st grade classroom and they are studying the country of Greece. The Parthenon. Greek gods. Baklava. Costumes. Greece relief map. Grece flag. Greek alphabet. Dances. Limestone. Wool. Music. Sponges. Excavation. All this and more brought these children into the world of Greece.

Then, these children brought the world of Greece to the rest of the school. The other classrooms visited Jennifer’s 1st grade classroom to learn about Greece. These 1st graders performed their dance eight times and gave eight tours of their classroom. They did a fabulous job. I got some great shots, but isn’t this the cutest little Greek tour guide?



Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

In 7 years…

Every year we have been taking one or both of our daughters to classes at San Mateo Gymnastics.

Every year they have offered a Spring Festival for the girls to attend. At the festival they perform with their class the things they have been practicing in class.

Every year my daughters have chosen not to participate.

Every year – until this year.

Jennifer chose to join her classmates at the Spring Festival. With family and lots of strangers watching, Jennifer did the class floor routine, class beam routine and the bar routine. Even though she didn’t do perfectly, she still enjoyed herself, which is really the most important thing.

jenbeam.jpg jengym.jpg


Dating Layouts

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2006

Dating Layouts…it’s the bane of my scrapbooking life. After a month of doing just a few projects and no layouts, I finished a layout. Gazing at it afterwards I noticed something wrong. ACKKK!!!!!


Notice the date? August 9, 2006

I moaned and showed Jackie.

“How much of a perfectionist are you?” she asked. “You’ll have to redo it.”

Yes, I’ll have to redo the white part of the layout.

Admission: If you notice any of my layouts with dates and the year just doesn’t seem right, it may not be right after all. As much as I try, I am not perfect.


A Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

I walked into the family room and sat down right in front of the computer. Resting on the desk was a package from Jackie with a note “Happy Mother’s Day!” and a folded purple heart with “Happy Mother’s Day” and a hand drawn picture of me. I opened it:

Dear Mamma,

I love you bigger then any constalation in the sky.

I love you more than studying Greece.

Don’t worry about your white hairs I’ll still love you.

I love you more than I can say.

I love you more than love can say.

I love you more than this card says.


WOW! How incredibly precious!!!

I waited for Jackie to open her present. As I undid the tape I said, “You’re studying colonial America. Is it something colonial?” I continued to undo the tape, thinking of colonial crafts. “How about cross stitch?” I finished opening it and there lying in my hands was a bookmark with my initials and a heart cross stitched on it.

“How perfect!” I said and I grabbed a scrapbook magazine and bookmarked it.

This is what it’s all about….this joy and this love. It just doesn’t get any better!


Photograph by Vivian Gudan



Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Prayer is an important part of our dinnertime routine. One member of our family will always say a prayer before we start eating our dinner. Most of the time it is Mike, but sometimes the girls or I will volunteer.

Jennifer recently volunteered. It had been a happy day and she was feeling good. Earlier she had been looking at my scrapbooks and commenting on the pages. Most of the pages she enjoyed but some she did not. On one page she said, “Why did you have to write that?” It was about a time she didn’t get along with a friend. In the end, they had become good friends so I wrote about how they overcame their problems. She couldn’t see that. She just saw the conflicts and she didn’t want to remember those early problems.

I have always tried to be honest in my scrapbooks. Not only in the topics and events but, also, to include some moments that aren’t the best. Believe it or not, we do not live in a perfect world. Not all our stories are peaches and cream. On the other hand, I don’t excessively dwell on the hard times because our scrapbooks should also be fun. I try to be honest and balanced.

The evening of all of this Jennifer showed her own sense of honesty. When she volunteered to lead the prayer her mind still remained on those scrapbooks. She prayed, “Thank you that my mom scrapbooks even if some of the things make me sad or angry.”

How’s that for honesty?



If You Blink…You Might Miss It

Sunday, May 14th, 2006

Wildlife in California abounds, especially in the coastal areas. You have to keep an open ear and eye, though. Often you might just walk by it if you are not paying attention. If you blink, you might miss it.

Here is a sampling of some wildlife we saw on our trip to Elkhorn Slough and Pt. Lobos:


Sea Otter








Harbor Seals


It is Beauty.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

“the greatest meeting of land and water in the world”

Landscape artist Francis McComas’s brief but extravagant comparison remains unchallenged. All who come here agree that the beauty of this tree-clad headland is unequaled.

Pt. Lobos website

And I agree. I always love this little slice of the California coast, where the rocky shores meet the ocean. From the many coves to the beautiful water, the view remains unparalleled.

Where else can you view southern sea otters, California sea lions, and harbor seals all within less than 1/2 mile of each other? Where else can you stand on the ocean’s edge shielding yourself from the cold, then in the next minute be standing in the warmth and tranquility of a Cypress grove? Where else can the waters be crashing on the shores in one cove but in an adjacent cove be calm blue waters?

It is beauty.

Sea Otter Love

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006


It’s been an 18-year love affair. Since I first heard about sea otters they have fascinated me.  From their cute faces, to their incessant grooming, these animals are fun to watch. We are fortunate enough to live in an area where we can see them close-up at an aquarium but also at places like Elkhorn Slough, Monterey Bay and Pt. Lobos.



So Blessed

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2006

“We are so blessed,” Mike and I repeated to each other over and over during our Monterey weekend trip. The very fact God revealed to us again and again. It came to an climax when we visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Weekends at the aquarium can be brutal. With hundreds of visitors crowded inside the aquarium, it can be hard to enjoy. The spaciousness of the aquarium makes it hard to experience all the exhibits in one day.

We had a plan, though. Since this was an overnight trip, not just a day trip, we decided to break up the aquarium visit between two days. Through the years, we have been blessed to have a family membership. With the membership we visited on Saturday, then returned on Sunday. Not only did our membership get us in free, but it also got us into the aquarium a 1/2 hour earlier than general admission.

On Sunday’s return we arrived to an almost bare aquarium. We stood in front of the sea otter tanks, watching them frolic, without a single other person there. It was so peaceful. Mike and I looked at each other and said, “We are so blessed.”


The Slough

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2006

“We’re going to Elkhorn Slough,” I announced to the girls.

They stared at me.

“What’s a slough?”

To answer their question, I immediately turned to Merriam-Webster.

1 a : a place of deep mud or mire b (1) : SWAMP (2) : an inlet on a river; also : BACKWATER (3) : a creek in a marsh or tide flat. 2 : a state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection

“Hmmm,” I said. “I’m pretty sure it’s definition one.”

Yes, it was definition number one. Elkhorn Slough is the largest tidal salt marsh in California, except the San Francisco Bay. Located along the Monterey Bay coastline, Elkhorn Slough provides a home to many plants, animals and over 340 species of birds.

That sounds pretty impressive but what we found at Elkhorn Slough was even more impressive. From wildflowers in abundance to crabs, the slough was a fun walk for both adults and children. The hills rolled a little but just when the girls might have been getting tired, we would spot another type of wildlife and they would be all excited again. It was a wonderful bit of fun on our way to Monterey.