Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh Happy Day!

We hosted a fundraiser for my mom's library project this past weekend, and it went very well. Our last fundraiser was an ice cream social, so we decided on a tapas party this time. The kids were fantastic and completely involved in the process. Maddie helped with planning the menu (she even came up with her own recipe that included crackers, creamed caviar, cream cheese, and chives!), and Kelsey organized a jewelry show with pieces that the two girls had made.

We had a wonderful time on Sunday. It was a really nice gathering of friends and family with great conversation, yummy gnoshing on appetizers, and pleasant company. Wouldn't you know that I would take lovely pictures of the food we prepared, but forget to take pics of our fantastic guests once the party was going.

Everyone who attended (and many, many who were not able to come) were incredibly supportive and generous. Our little fundraiser increased the school's library fund by over $1500.00!! Mom and my brother are hoping to assess the school's needs and then figure what the students will benefit from the most (i.e., more books, solar lights, magazines, etc.). I'm so excited to see what will progress will be made. Thank you to all our guests and donors!

Monday, February 21, 2011

A Weekend Off

The kids were off school today, and everyone was reasonably healthy. So we (finally!) got a chance to do something out of the house. We drove down to Stanford University and visited the Rodin Sculpture Garden at the Cantor Art Museum. Kelsey did a unit on Auguste Rodin through the Art in Action program at her school.

I think that the girls were appreciative of Rodin's sculptures (although it was a bit hard to explain his choice of subject matter for "The Gates of Hell"). What a neat opportunity to see his works, though!

After, we headed up and enjoyed ice cream. This is a real treat for us because we never have it in the freezer at home.

The last photo is a picture of Maddie's newest prize possessions. They are very loud boots, but she is extremely proud of her pink cowgirl boots. Grandma took the kids shoe shopping during their overnight at their house. (John and I were able to head up to the City to see "Avenue Q"--very funny!) All in all, a really nice family weekend.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Project Close to My Heart!

I just wanted to give a mention to a project that was originally begun by my mom.  The project is a little like a "Three Cups of Tea" story.  In the fall of 2007, she was trekking in Nepal and unable to leave because her flight had been double booked.  Mom's mountain guide (Sunil) invited her to visit his family and tour his village because it was a special holiday.  Sunil mentioned to my mom that his daughter's local school had no library and hardly any books to provide for the students.  Upon leaving, Mom told her travel agent if he was able to get the funds for her first plane ticket returned, she would donate the money to Sunil's village school.

Hence, the beginnings of the Harnari Community School Library.  Mom returned to Nepal in March 2009 with my dad.  During this visit, they purchased books and several games for the children.  Since then, our little project has also provided shelving for the library.  

It is my mom's project, but we support it with fundraisers and spreading the project word-of-mouth.  Check out her blog for more information and photos of the library's progress.  It is a small project, but we like to think of the long-term impact that building a village library will hopefully have some day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

Wishing you a very happy Valentine's Day!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saturday Art

We attended my dad's art reception yesterday in the gallery at the local rec center. What an exciting show! It has been almost three years since his last show at this gallery, and his work has progressed and changed. New subjects, different techniques, and greater use of colors.

His watercolors were very well-received with lots of positive feedback. He also received awards of recognition from the California State Legislature and State Senate. Both Leland Yee and Jerry Hill made presentations. It was wonderful to see him get the well-deserved attention for a pursuit that he has always enjoyed, but not always had the time devote to it.

It was a beautiful day with warm, sunny weather....a perfect day for art in the park!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Favorite Moment of the Day

Maddie and I had to make an Ikea run to return something and to get one of those plastic mats for under your wheely chair. Of course we had to stop for a yummy frozen yogurt. For a buck, Maddie ends up happy and Mama ends up happy. It's a win-win situation.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sunny Days Are Here

I feel guilty posting this given the wintery weather that the rest of the country is experiencing. In California, it's been lovely and balmy all week. Maddie and I took a walk this afternoon to Starbucks for a juice and a coffee. We couldn't get over how "springtime" it is right now...65 degrees and sunny!

These pics are from the backyard. Keep in mind I'm not a photographer or a gardener, but all of our plants seemed to have seasonal confusion as well. I'm not complaining.



Monday, January 24, 2011

Rock On!

Kelsey and Maddie have been a bit under the weather. I've had to think of interesting things to do (inside) the house that are fun and (hopefully) teach us a little something. Lucky us, I found these instructions for growing your own rock candy lollipops! The girls had a great time picking out flavors and colors. Kelsey decided to make green mint lollipops, and Maddie made a batch of blue vanilla.

We've let them grow for about a week, and they are getting pretty big. We actually added closer to about five and a half cups of sugar. :P  (I don't think we are going to be doing this activity too many times!)  I'm not sure how long we will end up letting them grow. The girls want to see how big they will actually get, and I think they look kind of cool in the glasses.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Kelsey was sick today so we had a quiet day at home and made one of our favorite recipes. It comes from Elisa Klevan's book Sunbread. The girls love the gorgeous illustrations, and while we considered making some animals from the dough, in the end we made our usual sun loaf. 

The house smelled like wonderful baking bread!  I think freshly baked bread is one of my favorite things to eat ever.

Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of the actual loaf of sunbread.  That afternoon Maddie had the brilliant idea to make our own butter, so guess what we had for dinner tonight?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It is that time of year again, when we have to take down all of the Christmas decorations. Maddie was so incredibly sad that the holidays were over and that our tree had to come down. I can't blame her. I really don't like that part either. I talked to her about all the holidays that are coming in the next couple of months when I remembered what I used to do with Kelsey right after Christmas. Right after the last of our holiday cheer had been packed away, Kelsey and I would cut out snowflakes and tape them to the windows. (Being in California, this is the closest we can get to a winter wonderland!) 

Maddie and I pulled out some white tissue that we saved from the presents (we save all that kinds of stuff around here--old tissue gets repurposed into flowers so that we don't have to use bows, etc.). We spent an hour cutting out shapes and taping all our snowflakes to the windows. She felt happier about celebrating winter with pretty decorations, and I was so glad that we found a happy solution!

Another one of my favorite parts of the week: Maddie and I were searching for some tunes to use during her next Girl Scout meeting, and she put on her favorite dress up outfit and put on a show.  Maddie's little moments of spontaneity remind me to just enjoy the moment. Sometimes I forget to do this, and this can be such a good thing.