Sunday, December 15, 2013

Totally loving life

That's right!  I am in love with life right now. Getting my kids the therapies they need, and going out and doing stuff. My fat butt loves the couch, but loves going out more. 
This picture was Friday at a museums snow night. 

This was Thursday night at a special needs Christmas event. The kids had a blast!!

This picture was also Thursday. Maggie gathered card games for a local foster care agency.

We also went to a local mansions christmas night. We've done so much...including starting a new Girl Scout troop. So awesome. 2013 is ending on a good note. 2014 looks good.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tanni Rainbow is One!!!

She Tanni Rainbow turned one on the 29th. We had a small party for her. She loves dinosaurs, so we brought along her favorite longneck.

In her first year of life, oh she has amazed me and scared me. It wasn't soon after she came home that she ended up at the children's hospital. She came home soon after thanks so the lights.

She walked too early and wants to be a big girl like Maggie Rae. 

She loves her big brother the best and her daddy. Poor girl, they are so much alike.
She likes watching the fire and playing with blocks. She likes when I wear her on my back. She's feisty and so punk rock that she growls! She likes to eat bananas and avocados. She likes to be barefoot and pull hair. 

When she dances to Snoop Dog, I silently pray I never hear of her dropping it like its hot. She watches Dr. Who with her siblings, so maybe she'll be the first female time lord. 

She is healthy and has radar love for my breasts. They hear her cries miles awY and get weary. She likes to shake her head, I imagine she is in disbelief at some of the stuff going on around here as I am.

She's a puppy squeezer and cat chaser. When she's older...I imagine she will be just as amazing and feisty.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Special Needs Update

You know, I've been reading a lot about the ups and downs if parenting special nerds kids. So I will share about my two boys and what new with them.
Hezzie and Joaquin are currently in occupational therapy. We are waiting for openings so they can go twice a week. Hezekiah starts speech therapy twice a week next week. Joaquin is waiting on his physical therapy approval. He will be doing that twice a week. His speech therapy evaluation is in the next few weeks.
Joaquin is either pulling hair out it it's falling out. He has a male first cousin with alooacia who's hair looked similar when it first onset. I'll be calling his pediatrician on Friday.
Hezzie got his MRI results back. There's a small cyst with fluid showing. Nuerology appointment is in the next few weeks. Also, his audiology appointment.
Maggie goes to  genetics next week. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Dexter at 14

My goodness! Where does the time go? It wasn't long ago you were a small right pound bsby at my breasts. It wasn't king ago that you were sitting on my lap as I read aloud to you, baby books, kids books and books I was reading. It wasn't long ago you were climbing on me as I wrote sociology papers and did algebra when I was pregnant with Joaquin. It wasn't long ago you were learning to read and to ride a bike. It wasn't long ago that we were eye to eye...then you passed me up. Your voice began to change and we started to laugh at uncomfortable subjects. Then you started reading banned books, babysitting and being more of your own person. It wasn't long ago that I looked at you and remembered that 14 years is your whole lifetime and yet, it's just a drop of what's to come. I love you Dexter.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Where I Get Creative

I made the gathering room tv free. When all is said and done, it's going to be awesome. I'm really considering getting a gathering drum. The big tv I had in there is on the curb, I love using Craigslist. 

The dining room is now a sort of TV room. The TV is really small and can be moved anywhere. It's on a table under our home altar, and already we are using it less. Remembering where our hearts and minds belong is pretty awesome. 

The dining room table is my old desk table. It's more narrow and is in the kitchen. It is doubling as a moveable island if sorts. The kids love it, and Hezzie can drive his cozy coupe around everything. 

The kitchen table is now my desk. I'm
Working on getting my room the way I want it. Life is pretty good. Doing these things, really brings out my creativity and makes me happy. Funny, I know. But, that's me!


Last but not least. For Maggie, Jimmy became a Girl Scout. We are one step closer to having a troop.

What did you do today?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Tuesday is Zoom Day

I felt like I haven't been home all day. This is serious, usually I can watch 50 episodes of SVU in a day. Okay, not really. Joaquin had an AMAZING OT evaluation today. I'm beyond pleased, now waiting for approval for him and Hezzie. 

Then we had Hezzie had as speech evaluation. Which wasn't surprising since I kind of knew what they were going to say. So here is to hoping that this get approved fast. So then the hour drive home ended with picking up Dexter so he could go to Creative Writing Group at the Library. I picked up some groceries, are dinner and then went to the Girl Scout Volunteer meeting. Hip Hip Hooray I won the drawing for a free pie! 

^^^ That is the paint job for the Girl Scout House, oh how I love it! 

Tanni and Joaquin playing with Legos. Life is pretty grand today!

Make memories!

Monday, November 4, 2013



I'm really not feeling the love right now. I wish I could zip off in this cozy coupe with my kids flying behind me. I'm sick and when I'm sick I'm no good to anyone. My house is a wreck, and apparently that's not allowed.  

I hate that nagging thing that tells me I fail and everything is my fault. I know in reality I'm not a failure and yeah sure some things are my fault. But, come on EVERYTHING!?

You know, I'm not the most organized mom, too much organization messes with my own creative process. Clean it good, and my house looking colorful makes me happy as a clam. 
Tonight while the older boys were at Boy Scouts the younger kids played with Legos and we watched Scholastic videos. It was really quiet. 


It was quiet for a little bit....

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Random Stuff


Hezzie is really into Iron Man. He thinks he the coolest guy ever. Well, at least right now. He wore this costume most of the day. Pretty awesome. 

This is what my night looks like right now. Hezzie and Maggie are doing sea animal stencils. It's pretty quiet. 
I hope I don't have this cold when I wake up in the morning. That would make my life pretty awesome. 
I am hoping to have a great week. Some minor plans like getting my eyes check and taking two kids to appointments. Maybe get to the park. 

What's on your agenda this week?

Dia De Los Muertos

I was rather sick yesterday evening, so I didn't get to blog. I didn't get to finish up all the projects with my kids, but that is okay. 
This is the first year we've celebrated. We paid honor to both my grandfathers. The landscape picture is my Grandpa Lara. He passed away when I was pregnant with my now seven year old son. I don't remember much about him before I was in junior high. But, after that I remember a lot. He lived with my nana and papa (actually they were my aunt and uncle). He liked sweet breads, coffee and minestrone soup. He liked to read the paper and western books. He liked to watch Perry Mason and old westerns. He was accepting of people just the way they are. He was greatly loved and before he passed there were five generations of Laras.

The portrait picture is my Grandpa Rios. He was a Korean War Veteran. He was in the Army band. He passed away when I was in 9th grade. I felt the moment of his passing, we were close. He liked to read, eat spicy food and like my Granpa Lara, work in his yard. He took me to get my first library card
I'd visit him in the summer. When he worked at Eisenhower Hospital we'd go and feed the ducks. He'd take me to to get giant dill pickles from the deli and ice cream at night.

I love my grandpas still.

Skulls were made by my daughter Maggie.

Who did you honor?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Learning Day by Day

We as unschoolers have many ways in which we learn. This month we are taking on the task of learning day by day. Meaning we have a calendar of the month, and all the "holidays" and "awareness" that goes on with this month of November.

Today we have celebrated and learned a lot.

Today is National Authors Day. So I shared part of one of my favorite childhood authors books.

It's also National family literacy day. So we took turns reading the above book aloud.

We made lists of all the "shoulds" on our lives.  Why? Because it's Give Up Your Shoulds Day. Yes, that's a real day.

We made paper maks for Dia De Los Angelitos. They are in preparation for Dia De Los Muertos. 

We did a worksheet on All Saints Day. This is from one of my kids who isn't artistic. His talents are in music. 

Now we are off to study about Prime Meridian Day.

Hope you have an amazing day! Whatever day it is to you.

Peace and Blessings, 


Thursday, October 31, 2013

Fun 31st

We had a great day. We talked about the founder of Girl Scouts. It is Founders Day. We ate caramel apples, went trick or treating at the library and trunk or treating at churches and the comic book store.
Life is pretty good. Now we are watching some Charlie Brown and settling in. 

Monday, October 28, 2013


Mondays aren't really stressful for us. It's just another day and apparently today is a day for fave painting and forts. It's been pretty awesome. We've even had hot chicory and are preparing for Dia De Los Muertos. This is out first year celebrating. We never did growing up and I want my kids to have cultural experiences. 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Just Life

Really can't complain about home life. Things are going pretty good. It's amazing the kinds of things the kids come up with to do. Legos have been all over the gathering room as of late. We have found the baby duplo blocks at a thrift store. Tanni loves them. Hezzie tells her the colors. It's cute.
I find myself just being in awe of the kids. There are moments they still catch me off guard with their candor and enthusiasm. I am glad they still do. Don't get me wrong  it's not always so nice and quiet. Some days it's loud and messy. It's never full and there is always time for a nap.
I'm looking forward to a future with kids who stay awesome and are their own person. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


I took Joaquin to his OT evaluation today. The therapist was excited to see that at only five he can use scissors well. What did she mean I wondered. Turns out a lot of kids aren't allowed to use them. I guess even in school some things are ore cut. This is kind if crazy. I mean, it's useful to know how to do these things. I wonder what else kids aren't able to do. Not by skill, but for the sake if stream lining. Or because its easier for someone else to do. 

Friday, October 4, 2013


Hezzie is five.
Tanni is 10 months.
The boys are digging Boy Scout activities
Girl Scouts is starting soon.
Life is pretty rad! 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Signing Time

We've been going to signing time classes. The little kids totally love it and in sad it's already half over. I've learned a few things like: unschooled kids can handle a classroom environment. Unschooled kids may not know every fairy take, but use funny grammar. Sweet grandmas with their homeschooled kids are your friend. Sweet homeschool grammars don't think it's odd that your four year old is taking off his socks and stashing them in your purse.
I've also learned that some parents think toddlers using scissors is dangerous. I think it's practical.

Life is pretty amazing. When your kids can sign things and dance around, you know there's happiness. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...the sun pushing through clouds.

I am thinking...of my trip to Loma Linda.

I am thankful...for my kids.

In the kitchen...dishes are clean.

I am wearing...a blue shirt and black skirt.

I am creating...memories.

I am make today beautiful.

I am wondering...why I don't have a driver.

I am reading...nothing right now.

I am get all the laundry done.

I am looking forward daughter and grandson visiting.

I am enjoy moments.

Around the roam and eat.

I am pondering...what life will bring.

A favorite quote for today..."You don't choose your family.They are Gods gift to you, as you are to them."

One of my favorite things...peppermint tea

A few plans for the rest of the week: doctors appointments and the like.

A peek into my day...


Monday, September 2, 2013


I have been sick in one way or another for nearly a month. I was stung by a bee on August 5th and had an deadly reaction to it, or whatever it had been eating. I then had a reaction to the steroids in the hospital and the ones they sent me home with. I ended up having to wean off of them and take blood pressure meds while I did so. Then I ended up with double ear infections from the steroids and had a bad reaction to the ear drops and now am dealing with anxiety. My PCP have me Zoloft and I had to stop that. I had a serious reaction to that and he wanted me to " let it get into" my system and gave me another med to help me through. I stopped the Zoloft and had a terrible time to following few days and had to take the other medication once. No reaction.
I am currently trying to get through this anxiety thing as naturally and as safe as possible.  I have had friends who have been great and very helpful. Also, my mom and husband. They are my rocks and my mom basically babysat me most of this time. She cared for my kids and prayed with me. My poor husband can't get any time off of work to come and stay with me. He knows how scary this can all be. My routine of teas and supplements have been great.
As I am able to, I get the kids out and we do things. Home Depot, Lowes and all that sort of thing. They have been great and understanding. Poor Maggie knows what it is to have anxiety, and she has not had an attack in probably a year. I am so grateful. Jimmy has a three day weekend and is here making sure I am okay and that things are getting done. I am working on laundry and my desk. He took Dexter to Mass yesterday and us smoking a brisket today. I know he had wanted to work today, but it is nice to have this Union guy home on a Union holiday.
Hezekiah and Joaquin went to see Dr. Aaen and it went well. Hezekiah was taken off his seizure meds and Joaquin is on the same dose. He ordered different therapies for them, so thankful for that. I am having a terrible time with heat, so Jimmy switched his days off so he could drive us.
Hezekiah got fitted with glasses after his eye appointment. He picked out some cool frames and he should have them soon.
Maggie has improved her reading so much, she reads description on the Roku for Mythbusters like a champ. That is the kids new favorite show, and soon they want to start watching How it's made. I just love how much they have been learning lately, and how much they still want to learn. Life is good.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fave Roku Channels

  • netflix
  • amazon prime
  • pbs
  • pbs kids
  • TedTalks
  • Smithsonian

What are yours? How is Hulu plus? How do your kids learn with these channels?

Join Amazon Prime - Watch Over 40,000 Movies

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Turtle and Tortoise Show

Yesterday, we visited a Turtles and Tortoise Show put on my the California Turtles and Tortoise Club of the Inland Empire. ( It really was a nice event. Not too big, which was good four our kids. They got to see turtles and tortoises in all stages of development. The kids have always loved these types of animals as we used to have red eared sliders.
Did you know that omnivore turtles and tortoises don't eat fruit? Neither did I? The kids asked a lot of questions and even answered some from the volunteers. 
The kids learned about building a habitat to rescue a turtle or tortoise. Specifically an outside one. Sometimes they come in pairs. They learned how they are paired. It's really interesting. We learned about different conservation efforts in our area.

Links to Learn More:

Saving the Tortoise:
Turtle Adoptions:
Nat Geo Kids:
Print and Go Coloring Book :
Salina Public Library Turtle Cam"
Arizona Turtle

Turtle Crafts on Pinterest"

On Netflix:
Turtle: The Incredible Journey

Books we have actually used.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Local History and Home Depot

We started out Saturday at Home Depots Kids Workshop. Joaquin, Maggie, Waylon and Hezzie made a Home Depot truck. They all had so much fun. I had to help Joaquin quite a bit, he still has a hard time using his hands. I never realized until recently how severe it is. Hoping his referral for OT comes back soon. Anyhow, they loved hammering and painting.

One thing that they kids love is these toys are workable. They can play with them and they will take very good care of them. They work hard and they love what they see at the end of it all.

After Home Depot we headed into Redlands. Well, into the rural area of Redlands. We went to a one room school house. The name is San Timoteo Canyon Schoolhouse. This is the schoolhouse where my great grandmother Susan Chavez was enrolled. To me it was just amazing, the kids and I got to sit in a few of the original desks.

The lady acting as the teacher was so very nice. She and another lady had quite a bit of information. We saw pictures from the 1920's and was given info on how I may be able to see earlier pictures.

The kids really enjoyed sitting in the desks, writing on the mini chalkboards and looking at the McGuffey Readers. They remembered when we had some and saw some up in Oak Glen. I think they could have stayed there all day. We are looking forward to returning soon with my my mom and to go back for yearly pictures. We will also return in December for a Christmas Party.

We then ventured to the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands. They have the most beautiful stained glass windows in the Childrens Library. They are so colorful...I can not even put into words, the kids just loved looking at them.

We walked out the back door and across some grass to the Lincoln Memorial Shrine. That was just as wonderful. The younger kids learned more about slavery, the Civil War and all that it entailed.

There was some photography going on for a quincenera. I told the kids that when Maggie and Tanni turn 15, they will have one. Maggie says she wants hers to be dark blue, silver and maybe white or black. She isn't sure. It made me long to have had my very own. Sadly, my own grandfather passed away before he could give me the one he had promised. I would have rather have had him in my life, that a quince with beautiful emerald green dresses.

Okay, I went off topic. But, we had a fun day. A long day. Much to my surprise, I didn't get tired from driving around. WOOP!

We learned a lot today. We learn everyday.

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
 Mahatma Gandhi