Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lots of media attention

Our story about the Children's Center has been covered quite well by the Media... first in the Times Standard this morning, then by the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, and finally by News Channel 3 tonight.

We declined to be interviewed on camera by News Channel 3, but I answered a few questions and gave them a quote that basically said, "We were thrilled with the sentencing and shocked by the jail time. At this point, we want to put this behind us and move forward positively with the Children's Center."

We are ready to close the chapter of this book...

Monday, July 27, 2009


Embezzling from a non-profit Children's Center is not a good idea! Sentencing was today for former Ferndale Children's Center director.... $19,500 in restitution to be paid, 5 years felony probation, 300 hours community service, apology letter to board and parents, and 30 days in jail (or SWAP).

As a board member, I am happy to say it is finally over and we can move on in a positive way with the Children's Center! We hired a new director, Nicole Farrow, that will start on August 3.

If you didn't know about all of this, feel free to read a previous blog post that gives more details.

Ridin' bikes

I had a dinner the other night so Andy was home with the kids. They spent some time outside riding their bikes. Before this night, J.T. still had training wheels on his John Deere bike.... but they took them off and he tried without.

Last night, I took a few shots of them riding. J.T. does pretty well, but he has trouble getting started on his own.



They love to ride up and down the hill on our road. Can you see Abigail out in the distance?


Sunday, July 26, 2009

One year old!

I had the pleasure of taking photos of Miss S on Saturday morning. She is turning a year old later this week and isn't she cute! She is just starting to walk so she was a little unsure about walking on the uneven grass...

Fall is usually my busiest time for portraits and I am really looking forward to getting back into it....

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can....

Abigail decided she wanted to enter a scrapbook in the fair.... and she decided she wanted to make the scrapbook about our most recent Hawaii trip. We started organizing everything a couple days ago. Today was the first day that she actually was able to start putting the pages together. I will admit that it's hard for me to not tell her how to do it and make sure it's done perfectly. I think I may be a little bit of a control freak (ya think!)... I know that I need to let her do it her way, even if it's not the same way that I would do it.

Hopefully I can get through the process without trying to do it for her. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Friday, July 24, 2009

One month from today...

school starts! It is so hard to believe how fast summer goes by. I guess it happens every year, though.

I have been doing a little school shopping for the kids, but they really don't need too much. They both need jeans.... theirs are just getting too short! Abigail is actually harder on jeans than J.T. is. The funny thing is that J.T. is much pickier about the clothes he wears than Abigail is.... I am sure that will change.

The thing that I am dreading the most is the whole brand-name thing. I have heard it's really bad... kids refusing to wear anything but the top brands. I think I am in trouble. Besides, we can only afford to have one female in this family need to buy designer jeans! :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Future photographer

I think Abigail may be a future photographer.... this morning we had to come up with an idea for one of her fair photo entries. We decided to try this out....

She did an awesome job, didn't she? Now I can use this for some of my promo stuff too....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Is it really summer?

We had great weather this past weekend for Rodeo Weekend.... we always get nice weather for that. Now, however, we are back to the yuck-o weather. I don't know if it even broke 60 degrees yesterday! I had to put on jeans and a sweatshirt in the afternoon!

Today it's supposed to be a whopping 65 degrees here! I guess I should be somewhat thankful that it's not 108 degrees like it has been in the valley.... but a little sunshine would be nice. I like when it's about 80 degrees... that's my ideal temperature.

How has your weather been?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Blog book

I have always wanted to get my blog printed and I finally did it... well for 2007 anyway. I used Blurb to do it. I got my book the other day and I am so happy with how it turned out. I am soooo not a product photographer, but I took a shot of the front and back covers so you can see...

It was a pretty easy process, actually. You just download the book software from the website and give them your blog address. Then it slurps it right up.... yes, slurp is their word, not mine. It took all the text and photos and put one entry per page. Then I went through to make sure it was the way I wanted. The hardest part was that I had to replace most of the photos with print quality sizes.... they came over from blogspot in web quality. Other than that, it was easy!
Now onto 2008...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Swimming today

Today, Kristina, Kyler and Sienna invited us to go swimming with them at the Ingomar Club in Eureka. The weather wasn't very nice but we didn't care! We had fun anyway..... here's a few from our day....

After we were all showered and dressed, the kids each got to pick out a treat... and then we took some in their beautiful garden area. They are not that spectacular, photographically speaking, but I don't really care. We captured the kids having fun and being silly...

And even sillier...

My attempt to get a decent one of my two together did not go so well...

At Kristina's suggestion, we took one of the three of us...

What a fun day we had.... Thanks Kristina for the invitation!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Since when does sunscreen stain?

In an effort to protect my kids' skin on our Hawaii trip, I bought a 2-pack of Banana Boat Sport SPF 50 sunscreen at Costco. We had to buy 2 or 3 more bottles while we were there. I bought the Sport kind thinking that it wouldn't sting if it got in their eyes.

When we got home I realized that it had stained Abigail and Andy's swimsuits. If J.T.'s were stained, I couldn't tell because they were dark-colored. I used different sunscreen for myself so mine didn't get stained. One of Andy's and one of Abigail's were new ones that we bought over there so I was upset.

At Christina's suggestion, I called Banana Boat to see what the deal was. They said that they have an ingredient in some of the sunscreens that can cause orangish stains. They gave me some cleaning instructions that were supposed to help remove the stains. They asked that I try them and call back to let them know if it worked. While they lightened them, they didn't go away completely.

I called Banana Boat back to get the name of the ingredient that causes the staining. It is called Avobenzene and apparently all the sunscreen companies are starting to use it. Banana Boat does not use it in their "Baby" formulations so that is good to know. And the Avobenzene is more likely to cause staining with the spray formulas because of over-spray.

I just wanted to post this so anyone who reads this knows to watch out for this. In the future, I plan to only use the "Baby" formulas from now on....


I have been thinking a lot about friendship lately, both in concrete terms (about my friends) and more abstract terms (what I want and need in a friend). I was looking back through some old blog posts and came across this one from 2007 where I wrote about some of my friends. I feel grateful for all my friends.

Do you ever think about what you truly *need* in a friend? I am not saying that a friend should actually be responsible for meeting your needs. However, I think we choose to be friends with someone because they meet one or more needs.... the ability to have a great heart-to-heart talk, the ability to notice when something is really bothering you, the ability to be completely honest (e.g. tell you that bathing suit looks horrible), the ability to tell you when something is not right for you (e.g. your boyfriend, job, etc), the ability to call her on the phone for no reason at all, the ability to have long phone conversations without needing to come up with answers, the ability to make you laugh, the ability to comfort you when you need to cry, and probably many more.

I have been thinking a lot about this. My sister and I were discussing whether one friend can meet all these needs, or whether one is more likely to have several close friends that can cover all needs. I think the obvious answer is that, more than likely, one friend can't meet all the friendship needs a person has. I know that different friends meets different needs.... in my life too.

The qualities in a friend that are most important to me are:
*trustworthiness-- can I tell her something confidential and expect that it doesn't go any further?;
*easy to talk to-- can I have a good heart-to-heart if I feel like I need it?;
*is the friendship as important to her as it is to me? is it 50/50?

On the flip side, and just as important, what can I offer someone when I am their friend? Hopefully all the above things and more. I wish it were easier to communicate with our friends about what we need and what we can offer to them. Sometimes I think friendships can be more complicated than dating!

Just to throw this out, what are important qualities to you in a friend?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


A.) Age: 34

B.) Bed size: Cal-King

C.) Chore you hate: dusting

D.) Dog's name: Molly, Belle, Patch, Shasta

E.) Essential start your day item: coffee w/ flavored creamer

F.) Favorite color: Chocolate brown

G.) Gold or silver: white gold or silver

H.) Height: 5'5"

I.) Instruments you've played: none

J.) Job title: Business owner/photographer/CFO/mom

K.) Kid(s): 2, age 8 1/2 and 5 1/2

L.) Living arrangements: with my hubby and kids

M.) Mom's name: Becky

N.) Nicknames: none really

O.) Overnight hospital stay other than birth: tubes in my ears at 8

P.) Pet peeves: flakiness

Q.) Quote from a book: "Don't worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. If you do this, you will experience God's peace." -Philippians 4:6

R.) Right or left handed: right handed

S.) Siblings: 1 sister

T.) Time you wake up: alarm goes off at 6:00 am

V.) Vegetable you dislike: brussel sprouts

W.) Ways you run late: waiting for the kids

X.) X-rays: teeth

Y.) Yummy food you make: I bake the best cookies ever (oatmeal/peanut butter/double chocolate chip!)

Z.) zoo animal: elephant

**I challenge all my blogging friends to do this too.**

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Family reunion #2

We had another family reunion this weekend. This time it was for Andy's dad's family. On Saturday we went to the beach up in Orick and boy was it a change from the beach in Maui! Can you see that we are all wearing sweatshirts and jeans!

The whole group....

The kids didn't care that it was cold; they loved playing in the sand anyway!

J.T. wanted to start a small fire next to the big fire yesterday so he gathered up some wood and Andy helped him light it...

And Grandpa Chet helped him find some big pieces of wood...

Friday, July 10, 2009

2009 Maui Trip

I didn't get to post much when we were in Maui so I put it here in one very long post.... Our 3rd annual trip to Maui with the Victorines was awesome! Here's some of what we did and a bunch of photos...
Day 1: We had to get up around 4:00 am to get to the airport early. We left Eureka/Arcata airport about 7:15 am. When we arrived in San Francisco, we were able to get on an earlier flight than planned so we arrived in Maui about 3 hours early. The flight seemed so long to me, even with a movie and lots of snacks for the kids. After we arrived, we picked up our rental car, and headed to Costco to load up for the 10 days. Clint took some meat too. It seemed like it took forever to get to our condo, but we made it. We stayed at Papakea Resort and it was great! We grabbed some food and a couple of beverages to relax from the trip!
Day 2: We took it easy and enjoyed the beginning of our vacation. We went to the beach in the morning...

and the pool in the afternoon!

J.T. decided he wanted to take a nap instead of swim....

Day 3: We relaxed in the morning... here's Andy enjoying his coffee out by the ocean.
And went to Lahaina for lunch. We went to Hard Rock Cafe and the kids seemed to really enjoy it. We also did some shopping...

I tried several times to get a sunset shot that I liked, and this one came the closest.

Day 4: We went to the beach in the morning...

and the kids had such a great time!

Abigail tried to boogie board and looked like she was really having fun...

J.T. just played in the water...

In the afternoon, we went to Kapalua Bay to go snorkeling. Some of us snorkeled anyway.... Abigail really wanted to try, but the first time she went out, she lost her mask. I have a hard time with snorkeling because I don't like when I can't breathe out of my nose....
Evan wanted to take a picture...

Day 5: Andy gave me the chance to go shopping by myself in the morning. It was so nice to have some quiet time to myself. What a great hubby, huh? Then I went back and picked the three of them up to head to Lahaina for lunch. We went to Cheeseburger in Paradise. We also walked around Lahaina....

J.T. lost a tooth that day.... can you see?
And of course we had to take one in front of the huge Banyan Tree...
That evening we headed into Lahaina for dinner and a show. Before we left, I took a few of the kids....

We went to Ruth's Chris Steak House for dinner. It was pretty good, but nothing compared to the great steaks that Clint brought to Maui. The show, Ulalena, was awesome! The kids really liked it too.

Day 6: Happy 4th of July! We went to a parade in Macawao, which is the little cowboy town on Maui. They were also having a rodeo that day, but we didn't go to that.
The kids seem to enjoy the first part of the parade, but it was way too long so they got bored....

Here are some of the paniolos (cowboy in Hawaiian)...

And the cute little town of Macawao...
We BBQed burgers and hot dogs for dinner. The kids enjoyed an Otterpop afterwards.... We did a few sparklers on the beach and watched the other fireworks that people were setting off.

Day 7: We went to the beach in the morning...

Just so you know I was really there, here's one of me.... (and no that isn't my beer!).

Day 8: We got up early to take some family photos. I sent everything up with my tripod, camera, and remote. Thanks to Christina for pushing the button on the remote, but more importantly for making everyone smile!
After we were done with the pictures, we packed a picnic lunch and headed towards the "Road to Hana." We weren't sure if we would drive all the way or not, but it ended up being closed due to construction at about the halfway point. We stopped to have our lunch, and turned back.

We did see a couple waterfalls, but not too many, because it's so dry over there...
We stopped along side of the road to check out this pool at the bottom of the waterfall above. Abigail wanted to stick her toes in...

We headed out to the "Upcountry" area and stopped at the Tedeschi Winery to look around and taste a little.
We were sitting outside the little country store there waiting for the kids to finish their ice cream bars.... and J.T.'s second tooth came out!

So.... J.T. met a girl! Her name is Alana and she is from Arizona. She was at the pool a couple of times when we were there. She suddenly became J.T.'s girlfriend! We were walking back from the pool one afternoon and I asked J.T., "Is Alana your girlfriend?" His response was "Duhhhh!" So here they are...

Day 9: We took a little drive in the morning because it was windy and rainy. We tried to find the blowhole near Kapalua... and then we met the Victorines in Lahaina for lunch at Cool Cat Cafe. After lunch we walked around Lahaina. At one point, we were standing in the crosswalk getting ready to cross the street.... who do you think was on the other side? Alana! And her parents of course! In the middle of the crosswalk, she ran up to J.T. and gave him a big hug!

We went to the pool in the afternoon and went out for dinner that night. After we got the kids settled into bed, Andy and I took a stroll out to the beach. This is how we found them when we came back 5 minutes later!

Day 10: It was our last day on Maui... and none of us wanted to go home. Before the kids woke up, Andy and I walked out to the grassy area above the beach for our last morning. He even took a little stroll along the beach...

We went to the beach for a little while and then to the pool after lunch. We ate lunch out by the pool and J.T. invited Alana to join us. We even swapped addresses with her.

The kids all wanted a picture together...

And of course J.T. and Alana wanted one.... he wants to keep it next to his bed!

This trip was so great. I actually felt sad on the day we left.... I just didn't want it to end. The kids were much better travellers this year and got along pretty well. We are hoping to do it again next year... maybe Kauai though.....