Thursday, May 28, 2009

Memorial Weekend

We are grateful for all the men and women who have fought for our country to make us free. This memorial weekend was a reflection of that freedom, as we did many fun things to celebrate this country, our families, and the people who made it all possible!

We started on Saturday by picking blueberries (as you have seen in a previous post). Enjoying the outside and the fruits of the land, while spending time with family and friends.

Watch for the next post about making blueberry jam!!

That night we went to the Memorial Park in La Canada to watch a movie... Beverly Hills Chauauah (sp?). The kids REALLY enjoyed the movie and eating popcorn outside in the grass!

Sunday we slept in... went to church... and then returned to the park for a fireworks show. We sat very close! The girls loved it... Nelson loved the lights but the loud noise kept him snug in my lap (something that doesn't happen often!)

Monday morning we went to the parade down Foothill blvd. It was lots of fun. We met up with some friends that Deric has known since high school. Our kids got along great! Here are some pictures of the kids watching....

Jess favorite part-the gymnastics girls and the plane fly over

Sam-the Oscar Myer wiener mobile (it was huge!)

Sarah-the cheerleaders

Carrie- the bands

Nelson-the fire trucks!!

Nelson sat in the stroller for the first little bit, and then I had to chase him for the remainder of the almost two hour parade.

This was one of my favorite parts!

I took this picture for Deric. He was on a plane as we were watching the parade (heading back from the Indy 500). This is the La Canada band, Deric marched in this parade just like this a FEW years ago!

After the parade we went to the Hoopes house to wait for Deric. We had a yummy hot dog lunch, after which Nelson CRASHED.

Lastly, we went to the park again for a fun free concert. We sat on blankets in the warm sun and listened to 50's music. We met up again with some the friends from the parade. The kids ran around and we enjoyed each others company. It was a carefree and fun afternoon. A great ending to a great weekend.

We hope you all had a great weekend too!

Growing up so fast!!

So the school is brilliant. They take pictures in the fall just like every school I have ever been to. Then this school takes them again in the spring. Only the spring pictures they take and then send home for you to see and if you want to buy them you just send back the money... great idea right!!?? Any how I was amazed at the difference in the girls just from September to April, seven months later and my little girls look more like young ladies. I guess it could be the hair right?
Jessica... Fall and then Spring Samantha... Fall and then Spring

Teacher Appreciation Week

Last week the girls school had teacher appreciation week. We made cookies for a lunch one day, took in a flower from our garden another day, and Friday was a day for a gift. I was overwhelmed at first because money is tight but I hit the Internet for ideas. The first gift (water bottles) were fun to make and very inexpensive since I happened to have everything in the house... still the cost would have been minimal (about a dollar per bottle). The second gift (the picture frame with the poem) cost $2.50, just the cost of the frame, since I had the paper in the house as well. The girls really enjoyed making the gifts and the teachers loved that they were homemade and from the heart.
Sarah also wanted in on the fun and made these for her old pre-school teachers. They are basically the same as the older girls, but she drew her own pictures on them.To answer my friend Liz's question... Yes I used scrapbooking stuff to make these. Just white card stock and a few scraps of yellow and pink (to match the crystal light packages). We used a round punch to make the hole for the bottle and heart punches for decorations (from creative memories). The pockets are held on with glue and small brads. This was really quick and easy. They say "Thanks for quenching my "thirst" for knowledge."

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Indy 500 (again!)

I posted a few days ago about my poor husband and his trip to the Indy 500. We had some glitches with the comments and had to delete the post, so sorry here it is again!
Deric expected to have a good time while he was there, but the experience was awesome! He was able to go to the drivers meeting on Saturday, walk through the garages, and visit the museum. The race itself was also incredible.Here Deric is trying out a car!!
This video shows how fast the cars go by... blink and you'll miss them!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Blueberry Picking

Saturday while Deric was gone the kid and I headed to Underwood Family Farms in Somis CA. Our great friend Darlene Hoopes wanted to take us blueberry picking. Honestly it was a little strange to be picking blueberries in CA... it seems like such a New England thing to do. But the bushes were full of big sweet blueberries and we had a great time.
They had a few animals there as well... aren't they cute:
Uh... Nelson, other side buddy!

Here are the kids playing after we picked. They had a few animals to feed, as well as a sand box and a fun wooden fire truck.

Here are a few pictures of the kids picking. Nelson has the right idea. Some blueberries were spilled so he layed on the gound and just ate, and ate, and ate.

Nelson chilling in the sandbox.

On the weekends the farm offers a free tractor ride out to the field. It was lots of fun. Thanks so much Darlene!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Trick Riding

Mom, look away. OK, so I really wanted Nelson to stop playing in the garden and do something else outside. THIS is NOT what I had in mind!! He loves to get on the tricycle and pretend he is driving... somewhere?! In case you are wondering he has fallen and yet he gets right back on. "No pain no brain" as my Dad would say!!! It does make a cute picture though!!

Gardening 101

We have a very small space in our yard that we can use for a garden. We decided on a few of our favorite veggies to put in our space. Peas, carrots, and tomatoes (cherry) were our choices. The kids and I had lots of fun putting them in the ground.The "planted" garden. Check back later for updates!!

Deric's Roses

Lately Deric has been very into the roses that grow on our property. He works with them often to create nice long stem roses. He has been very successful, and I have enjoyed them both in and out of the house. Here he is with one (not the longest stem but not too bad!!)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Don't Stand In the middle of a Water Fight if you don't want to get WET!!

We had the best water fight this afternoon. It started as water balloons and ended with the hose and buckets of water. Nelson wasn't over enthusiastic about the hose (the water was really cold), but the rest of us really got into it. Deric as always was the winner and if he hadn't come to get the hose would have been pretty dry. But we did battle over the hose and it was really fun. We were all soaked at the end, as Sam put it "even my underwear are wet!"

Sarah's Birthday Party

Sarah had to wait until May 2nd for her official birthday party. I think it was worth the wait! This picture shows Sarah with her friend from church. I love the way they are looking at each other... so cute! And everyone else is in the back patiently waiting for cake and ice cream. We were short on money so we had to get inventive for this party. Here is our home made pinata. It sort of looks like a horse, right!?

The horse cake. Jessica helped me do the decorating (per Sarah's request).

They played stick the tail on the horsie (drawn by me).

And had a sugar cube race in the yard.

Sarah got lots of fun gifts... one was an outfit for her monkey. Doesn't she look cute!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

I made these really yummy whoopie pies the other day and thought I'd share. They were so good I made a second batch a couple days later (since I had pumpkin left over)! These also bring back fond memories for me. When I took swimming lessons as a child my grandmother used to take me. We would often stop on our way there, or home, to buy pumpkin whoopie pies. We LOVED them. I am glad I found this recipe that tastes just like the ones I remember as a child!

2 eggs
2 cups lt brwn sugar
1 cup veg oil
1 teasp vanilla
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
3 cups flour
1 tblsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
(Filling/Cream Cheese Frosting)
4 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 teasp vanilla
4 to 5 cups confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 350. Beat the eggs, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla until smooth. Stir in the pumpkin. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture a half cup at a time, blending each time until smooth.
Drop a heapin tablespooon of batter onto an ungreased cookie sheet, slightly flatten each mound. Bake for 12 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar a half cup at a time, until the frosting is spreadable.
Assemble pies by sreading a generous amount of frosting on one cookie and topping with another. Makes aprox 15-18 pies. ENJOY!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

This morning I was able to stay in bed while my children whispered my husband up. They disappeared downstairs and soon I could smell the wonderful aroma of breakfast cooking. Then I was "awoken" by my five beautiful children (and my husband) with a tray of hot breakfast (which happens to be my favorite meal of the day)! I was also showered with homemade gifts and cards. After eating I also got the privilege of snuggling in bed with the girls. It was a wonderful morning and a great way to start the day. I can't wait to share the rest of it with my beautiful children whom I cherish!
I hope your day is wonderful also....Happy Mothers Day to all of you that are Moms. Your influence in my life is greatly appreciated!
Love, Muria

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The kid and I love to cook together. Here are just a few cute pics I took the other day. I got the hat and aprons from Pampered Chef a few years ago. I actually have a picture of Jess and Sam wearing them at ages 2 and 3. (My mom has it in her kitchen).
Sarah and Carrie waiting for the action to start! Jess and Sam getting into mixing the sticky peanut butter (we were making PB balls).

Nelson had to have a chance with the hat too!! (It came off pretty quickly though).

Tasting the goods!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eggcellent Birthday Gift!

Sorry, I know that this post is late. These are the gifts that the girls made for my mom for her birthday. Her birthday was Easter this year and the kids knew that she would enjoy these Easter themed animals. They were fun and easy to make. We found the directions in the Family Fun magazine.

Backyard Science

The girls found this snail the other day. If you look closely you can see it's "trail" in this picture. This was right up Samantha's alley! The other girls were also fascinated at how it moved. It didn't even go into it's shell when they touched it. (These snails are all over the place out here in CA)
After some hard snail viewing the girls cooled off in the sprinklers.

I love the look on Nelson's face in this one. He was unsure of the water and needed a little coaxing!!