Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas in the Park

Christmas in the park was amazing. The 1st, 3rd, and 6th grade students did a great job. They sang their little hearts out. There was an amazing crowd. My favorites were "Snowman Jump" for the 1st graders, "Red and Green" for the 3rd graders, and "Christmas is Coming" for the 6th grade students. I am so proud of all of them! Even the kids who were petrified performing did a good job. It was a huge success and an exhilarating evening. This is why I teach music. I seriously feel lucky every day that I get to share my passion with kids and teaching my passion is just a dream. Not every moment, but every day. :)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Bogged down and so overwhelmed

Recently I have been having a LOT of health issues. It doesn't make sense to me since I am the healthiest person I know in terms of healthy eating, exercise, positivity, self-care, being the best mom and wife I can be, and always trying my best. I have a job I love, great kids, a husband who loves me and is definitely an equal partner. Seriously, why is this happening??? I have been having tailbone pain for over a year, pain after peeing since July, and intermittent other issues like laryngitis. I am now also having a hard time falling asleep. I have seen 5 specialists. It's just getting ridiculous. I just want to feel like myself instead of a tired person who dreads going to the bathroom and bedtime. I am so tired, but I can't fall asleep. I don't want any more medication and it's side effects. I can't take melatonin because of the other meds I on. December is always crazy busy. This is not helpful. I have to write report cards for ALL of my students. That is 300 report cards with individual comments on each one. I am having Christmas in the park for 1st, 3rd, and 6th grade students on Friday. Those 6th graders are more than a handful! I just need to figure out these health issues and get back to normal. I miss feeling normal. Here's to hoping I (and all my doctors) get this figured out soon! Please oh please. I just want some sleep - deep, quality sleep!


I always like to post my advent activities on my blog so I have them as a reference for next year. Now I just have to find it. I honestly don't remember where I wrote it down, but it is typed so it can't be too far away.Found it...good thing I texted it to Justin.

2 Party at the Zwingman house
8 Christmas in the park
9 Breakfast with Santa
10 Gingerbread houses at Polly’s
16 Hanukkah with Grammy and Pops
17 Wii afternoon with an extra dessert
21 dinner with family at Grammy and Pop’s house
22 Make sugar cookies/ lunch with Marisol
23 Decorate cookies
24 Christmas Eve get together at JAVO cottage
Crazy meal
Write a holiday story
Holiday dance party
Holiday movie as a family
Living room picnic and a show
Holiday lights drive
Go out to movies to see Coco
Holiday themed meal
Vander’s choice game
Oliven’s choice game
Candle light dinner
Holiday lights walk
Holiday block party
Watch Garfield Christmas
Watch Charlie Brown Christmas

We will probably add a few, subtract a few and move them around a bit, but here is the original rough outline.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Vander's December comment

Last night Vander helped me make dinner. Afterwards I thanked him and he said, "I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I will say yes to helping you with anything you want in December. You could take advantage of that because I really want to get good presents from Santa for Christmas." I thought that was really funny and so I thought I better write it down.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Anaheim for Thanksgiving

  I am so Thankful for my family. We really had a joyful, lovely week, and a fantastic Thanksgiving day complete with love, lively conversation, delicious turkey, and best of all no Bob. We were missing many of our key family members. Not in attendance this year, but greatly missed were: Colby and Alex (in Ohio meeting Alex's new baby brother), Kyle, and Kelly ( I love my cousins!). David Moore will no longer be joining us as he and Hedy are splitting up. And, of course, the hardest part of the holidays is missing the loved ones who God is lucky enough to have spending time with him now. It was a rough time without Grandma Gretchen. I will forever and always miss her, but I am so very thankful that she was my Grandma. I love you so much Grandma. You will forever live on in my heart and in me.
Here is the gist of our fun week:
Southern Cali:
Sun. 11/19/17 Drive down and get to spend time with the Grands.

Mon. 11/20/17 Woke up at 6am to go to Disneyland. Took forever to get there and to get in.
We went on lots of rides:
Matterhorn - awful. No thank you. It was jarring, had things jump out at you, and uncomfortable.
Space mountain - so much fun! Vander says I ruined the ride by laughing the whole time. What fun. Oliven was not impressed. 
  Emmie, Molly, and Freddy joined us for a few hours  and we got to go on lots of rides with them- Carousel, Tea cups, Rockets, Snow White, Pinocchio, Buzz Lightyear, and the car driving ride (which Freddy somehow managed to get us to the very front of the line with his Freddy magic. He wasn't even trying to do it, he was just trying to find a time when we could join us in the line after using our fast pass for another ride). We all really enjoyed each other's company as we waited in lines. Most of them weren't too long. Emmie's jelly sandal broke very soon after they arrived at the park. Freddy very creatively fashioned a fix with a string cheese wrapper around her shoe and toe. It worked! I wish I had taken a picture cause it was super hilarious. Freddy had asked the girls not to wear those shoes and swore they would never be wearing them again. "Straight into the trash when we get home," were I believe his exact words. The girls were getting tired and we were all hungry, so the cousins headed home. We got caught in parade traffic, so we all ended up watching it since we couldn't get through it.
   Our family enjoyed a late lunch - bread bowls (gumbo and clam chowder), went on the Jungle Cruise, and headed over to Toon Town. On the way there a show was starting so we sat down to watch. It was called, "Mickeys Magic Carpet show," and it was super cool. We ended up sitting next to a third grade student at Charter, Charlie and his family (we also saw Jacob W. earlier that day in the crowd, also a 3rd grader at Charter). There were singing characters and tons of cool effects with 3-D characters turning into to 2D and back. I recommend this show for sure. Disney really does things right! We went over and waiting in the deceivingly long line for Rodger Rabbit. It looks short, but 45 minutes later you finally get on the ride. We decided to hit the Buzz Lightyear ride one more time before heading out to Downtown Disney for dinner.
  We ended up at a make your own burritos place (mediocre at best, Van loved it). The really fun part happened when Oliven was exhausted, but Justin encouraged me to go over and listen to the a cappella band that I wanted to hear that were performing. The a cappella group was called the "Alley Cats", and they were fantastic! They were a Doo op group so it was my favorite music (though I am really loving jazz right now). I was really into it and every one of the 4 singings sang part of a song to me. One grabbed me and danced with me, another one gave me the sign to "call him". It was truly a blast and they were really good and super funny. Vander was supremely embarrassed. It was probably my favorite "ride" at Disneyland. It was definitely right up there with Space Mountain. :) It was a really fun day.

Tuesday 11/21/17
We went to the Bowers Kidseum which was super fun. The kids all played with the song making glow balls for a long time. Like almost an hour. They did some coloring, that the place made into a 3D page to fold up into a vehicle of your choice, and it was also projected on a big screen. It was super fun, and we only explored a teeny tiny part of the museum, but at that point the kids were all hungry so we came home for sandwiches and naps/quiet time.

Wed. We also spent lots of time in the morning at a park with a zip line. The kids loved it. It was 97 degrees outside, so not my favorite, but a good morning activity to get some energy out. I was exhausted from not being able to sleep the night before. No reason, just a current issue I have been having. :( Most of the day we just hung out and did a little cooking prep. There was lots of swimming/hot tubbing by the kids. Freddy likes to offer my boys money for jumping in the freezing cold pool. Vander is more than happy to oblige.

Thurs. Thanksgiving- so much fun! Santa came to see us. Vander made some connections to Uncle Ken. He asked, "do the other adults know?" What a great day just being together and being Thankful. I had some talks with Grandpa, but I think I will put that in a different blog entry.

Fri. Drove home

Sat. Put our outside lights up.

Sun. Christmas tree and indoor decorating.

Replacing appliances - fan, hot water heater and fridge

   This is clearly not the most interesting post...however, this blog helps track our lives (however sparse it has become now that I am working - hey I don't think ANY of my friends who starting blogging when their kids were little have kept with it, so I call that a win).
 Did you know that you are supposed to flush your hot water heater once a year!!! I had NO idea. Well, now we know and we will be doing that from now on. It's pretty simple, doesn't take much time, but apparently it makes a big difference. We had to buy a new hot water heater after only having our last one for 6 years. They are supposed to last 20 from everything I have heard prior to this fiasco. We started hearing a rattling/clunking when we were using hot water. We also started having clogged sinks and a shower head. They were filling with a pretty turquoise sediment. Almost like copper that has turned color. Could it be the copper piping??? Uh...so we had to replace that. We tried a lot of things first. The water company came out to look at it. We replaced shower heads, he was cleaning out the drains constantly. Luckily Justin had the fore site to get appliance insurance (for the fridge - a fluke, and the hot water heater - not so much a fluke as a concern).
  As for the fridge...it just started freezing things in the fridge, then things in the freezer started to thaw. It held on long enough to get a repairman out to say that it was going to need to be replaced because the part it needed was almost the same price as a new fridge. Insurance paid for it, it just took a while to get it ordered and delivered. Nobody was surprised. It was frustrating. We were trying to just not buy anything that needed much refrigeration - it still worked a little bit, but not much.
  The fan in our bedroom decided that it was done working. Justin bought a new one and we tried installing it ourselves. We followed all the instructions, but when we turned it on there was a big spark and we had to take it down. I sent Justin to get a new one, and we planned to call a professional - so as not to burn our house down. That night we went to dinner with the Lim family and Peng said he could come over and install it with Justin because he had installed lots of fans in the past. The kids were thrilled to have a bonus play date and it ended up that the first fan we bought was a lemon. Peng and Justin did exactly what we had done that morning, only this time it worked. Yay! Thanks Peng!


Vander wants to be a teacher for the treats as a side job to being a question answerer. He will charge $100 per question. "I don't know and/or ask Siri" are apparently both acceptable answers to their questions.

Oliven wants to be an artist, and maybe a writer and is currently in the process of writing a series of books called, "The Ocean Friends." He has written several so far. He has also checked out books about animals in the ocean in order to give himself new ideas!