Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lots going on here!!!

Thanks for all of you who commented on my facebook post but the presentation to the attorneys, judges and mediators really went well. They all really liked the evaluation I do and believe this is an area of court evaluations that is completely unaddressed-- hence the reason why I am now addressing it. By the time we drove from the court house back to our house to unload the catering stuff and get our bags packed for Vegas, I had already got a call from a new client. Since the presentation I have 2 new clients (evaluations), the mediation supervisor for all of San Bernardino County wants me to to do a presentation for their Rancho medication staff and the Bar Association in the High Desert wants me to do a presentation for them as well. So, things are going to get busy around here-- cant imagine them getting more busy then they already are, but busy is OK with me while I'm trying to build this business. By the way, Kevin's catering was amazing and everyone was amazingly impressed. Kevin served Cashew Chicken Salad Sandwiches on Croissants, Amy's Farm Tomato and Watermelon Salad, Chinese House Chop Salad and Summer Wild Rice with basil and almonds -which is my personal favorite! The food was phenomenal and I think everyone wants me to do presentations because of the food-- that's fine-- Ill take the exposure anyway I can. Thanks Kevin for being an amazing support to me!!!!

After the presentation we packed up and headed to Vegas. People ask if we gamble or go to clubs or what. Our answer is we eat and sleep-- literally, we eat wonderful food and sleep and relax in our room. We stayed at the Venetian so the room was a great place to kick back.

Wandering around the streets of Vegas. In front of the Bellagio (sp?) water show.

Our big fine dining meal was at Valentino's at the Venetian. It was such a fine dining experience and we loved every minute of the experience. We did the tasting menu with 6 courses and a wine pairing with each-- totally amazing!!!

This was the dessert course. Awesome!!!

We got home from Vegas on Friday night and took the kids to dinner and a movie for Owen's early birthday (his Birthday was Saturday July 25-- he was 9) and then Saturday we had our friends Brian and Heather's 10 year vow renewal ceremonyon a boat in Newport Beach Harbor. It was a wonderful celebration and of course, I forgot to take pictures except for a few.

Kevin and Mia on the bow of the boat

Mia and Ethan

Jared and Ethan-- Brian and Heather's son and Ethan are good friends and will be going to the same private school together next year. They can hardly wait.

There were cameras on the tables and Mia had a lot of fun taking pictures (or at least she thought she was taking pictures).

The next day after church we had a little family party for Owen's birthday.

We just had family over but it was a nice relaxing time and Owen loved the attention.

Happy Birthday to you!!!!

Getting ready to blow the candle-- yes only one little votive. I totally forgot to buy candles-- bad mommy-- but Owen didn't care.

Most of the kids smiling for the camera.

And a typical picture of Mia. She has spent most of this summer naked because she is in the pool then out of the pool and back and forth again. Therefore, if we are just hanging at home she is mostly naked- helped with potty training which by the way she is pretty much potty trained except for at night-- ya!!!

Today we are doing a quick last minute trip to Disneyland with Laila, Laura and Cassie and then on Thursday night I am doing a presentation at the boys new private school on special education. I'm not sure if I mentioned but I started a special education program at the boys school for the fall and as a community service outreach, the school decided I should do a presentation for parents or anyone who wants to come. Yesterday I did an interview for the newspaper to advertise the program and then next Friday they are going to run a weekly newspaper article on one noteworthy person in the community and they asked me if they could do the article on me. It was quite a compliment and I am thrilled to get to answer their 10 questions (that is the format of the interview). Then, after the presentation on Thursday, Friday morning we leave for a short 3 day cruise with the kids to Mexico. We leave Friday and come back Monday. It was a quick little fun vacation that they boys are thrilled to go on. It should be fun. So, I should have some good pictures from that.
Have a good rest of the week!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

How can you work so hard when your not working???

Yep, that's how I feel. I feel like I am working like crazy but really, I'm not even working (officially). Many of you know I have my own business Cornerstone Educational Solutions where I do independent evaluations for school districts, ADHD testing and lots more. My main "product" is an evaluation I created for the court system called "The Educational Custody Evaluation". It is a an evaluation ordered by the judge (or I can work as expert for an attorney) to help with an educational question or concern. The evaluation is getting pretty popular and I am getting a fair amount of work within the one local family court in our area. About 3 weeks ago I got a call from the Family Law Association of San Bernardino and they wanted me to do an hour long presentation for their family law attorneys and judges on July 22 (next Wednesday-- yikes!) Happily I said YES and I am scheduled for next Wednesday to present. I am scared as can be but really excited about this opportunity. The flyer's began circulating and I have been getting a ton of RSVP's from people all the way from attorney's to judges to mediators to Regional Center Advocates. It is just crazy who is going to be there and I soooooo don't want to disappoint. The power point presentation is done and now I am just reviewing it and trying to get it to fit into the hour. I tried to post the flyer that was circulated but it was in a format blogger didn't like therefore I couldn't post it--uggg-- but take my word for it, it was a very flattering and cool flyer. Keep me in your thoughts as I am crazy nervous about the presentation but the only really cool thing about it is that Kevin is catering the lunch meeting (typically presenters provide lunch) and after the presentation is over we are heading to Las Vegas for a late anniversary vacation. We are staying at our favorite place-- The Venetian- and are planning on doing the whole fine dining thing. We just cant wait and literally when we head to the presentation our bags will be packed and we leave directly from the court house to Vegas (about a 3 hour drive). Kids will be with my parents and I am just stoked!! I get to market my business (which is a huge opportunity) and then relax and do nothing in Vegas-- oh joy!!!!
There is more going on with me but I will post that boring stuff on a later post. Kids are good, just enjoying the summer days. Surprisingly we have been really busy with something going on practically everyday. One of the fun things the boys do one day a week during summer is they go down to Amy's Farm (my brother and sister in laws farm) and spend one day down there- usually accompanied by a sleepover. The boys are required to work and tend to the animals, pick vegys from the garden and do all sorts of chores. They just love it and work really really hard. Ethan was in charge of picking carrots on Thursday and was shocked when he pulled a carrot up that reminded him of-- well himself!! Take a look (caution-- questionable pictures-- lol):

It has been sitting in water so it wont go limp- oh holy cow I crack myself up-- only half of it will fit in the glass hence the one dry leg.

Yes, that is a true carrot that has not been altered in anyway. It came out of the ground that way and Ethan immediately took it to Auntie Amy and they decided to keep it because it made them laugh so much. I think this is just hilarious!! Everyone who has seen it in person just cracks up when they see it-- total freak carrot!
Have a nice weekend!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

This and That

This post is just a bit of this and that from my little camera that is always in my purse.

We have been having the family over for swimming all the time this summer. The kids have been in the pool non stop and us adults to. I have spent a ton of time relaxing in the water as it just feels so darn good when it is so hot outside.

Kevin and Mia hanging out a few weeks ago.

Mia loves squirting people with the water guns.

At the beginning of summer I found this huge massive horrible floaty thing. We seem to get a new horrible floaty thing each summer and it pops within a month or so. This year I found this hamster looking thing. One side of it popped the first day we got it but the other parts have stayed in tact. We played with it as shown for a long time but just the other day, the center popped and I didn't want to patch it so Kevin but all the popped part off and now we just have one big circular floaty tube. So this one lasted-- what-- almost 2 months-- not too bad.

When we went to the Midway in San Diego, we had dinner at this amazing Mexican restaurant in old town San Diego. This is the kids watching the ladies making the homemade tortillas-- which by the way have some sort of addictive ingredient that literally makes me thing about them daily!! They were amazing and I almost made myself sick eating them. According to my brother the addictive ingredient is LARD!!!! Whatever it is, it was awesome!!!

My dad at church a few weeks back with Savannah and Mia.

We went ice skating the other day with Laila, Ava, Tyler and Cassie. The boys brought their pal Carson and their cousins Katie and Kylie. It was a lot of fun.

The boys have ice hockey skates and love ice hockey but it is a little bit too pricey right now. We will stick with roller for the time being.
Ethan being way too cool!!

We did not intend on Mia and Ava skating (Ava didn't) but Mia totally wanted to skate so here is Cassie, Kaitlyn and Mia making their way around the rink.

The goofy boys

They are such dorks

Mia and Ava having way too much fun running around the rink.

They are so cute together-- best friends-- I love that about them-- just like their moms!!

My beautiful nieces-- Kaitlyn and Kylie

All the girls hanging out!

Laila and Tyler skating around. This was Tylers first time skating and he loved it and caught on pretty quick. He wants to skate again soon!

Tyler-- you go!!!

I did not intend on skating-- hence the dress, but when Mia really wanted to go out I went ahead and put on some skates. Here Mia is actually in her crocs. She was skating around on crocs and they allowed it-- totally funny!!!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Jalama Beach California

The kids and I went to Jalama Beach with our friends The Sandoval's. Kevin had a trainee all week and all next week so he had to work so our friends asked us if we wanted to come with them and live in the back of their trailer. We decided to take them up on their offer and all 3 kid and I headed out early Monday morning. Jalama beach is about 3 hours from our house up the coast of CA. If you drive north on the 101 (the freeway that follows the ocean) past Santa Barbara you get to the hills of Gavolita. When you get to Gavolita you basically go 14 miles on Pacific Coast Highway and then another 14 miles on Jalama road and you end up in an untouched piece of California coast line that is pristine. It is breathtakingly beautiful and completely in the middle of nowhere. The campground only has 100 camp sites and there is nowhere to day camp so the place is not very crowded even at full capacity. There is absolutely no cell phone reception and no computer anything. It is truly a vacation because you are out of touch with EVERYTHING! The kids and I stayed till Thursday and then drove home. I took my big camera but it died after the first day as I forgot to charge the battery and left the alternate battery and charger at home-- stupid I know. Anyway, here are the pics from the first day-- it was just beautiful!

Owen boogie boarding. The water is really cold so the boys wore their wetsuits.

Finishing a great wave

You can see how the beach is just untouched and there is nothing for many many miles.

Ethan heading out to catch a wave

The boys love skim boarding. Here is Owen about to do so.

Skimming in action!!!

Ethan and Taylor boogie boarding.

My boy

The Sandoval Kids-- Taylor (in the front) is Ethan's age and they are great pals, Sammy (girl on left) who is the same age as Owen, and Nathan who is almost 7. They are a wonderful family and we just loved spending time with them.

Ethan preparing to boogie. The thing about Jalama is it is a huge surf beach. The waves are HUGE and kind of scary. There are a ton of surfers everywhere.

Mia playing in the sand

All smiles

Danny (Sandoval dad) playing with Ryder, their dog, in the waves. You can see how beautiful the water is.

Huge waves-- really big but beautiful!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


Last weekend we visited the USS Midway in San Diego. It took us about 1.5 hours to get there and we wondered why this was our first visit. It was amazing history and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit.

Mia on the main deck checking out the planes.

The family shot on the main deck.

The kids with the Naval men and woman explaining what job they did for the ship- very cool!

Inside of the boat walking through the officers quarters

Uncle Brad, Nathan, Christian and Ethan giving the serious officer face.

Mia checking out the cool stuff

Ethan at the controls

Haileyanna at the controls

Nathan posing for a pic auntie Christy is forcing him to do

Mia at the controls

At the front of the Midway with the bay behind us

The San Diego skyline view from the Midway

Brad, Amy and kids at the front of the boat

Cassie and all the kids

Ethan sitting in the cockpit of a real fighter plane- he loved that!!

It never ceases to amaze me how so many can take out freedom for grated. The men and woman who fought to make this country what it is are true heroes and we appreciate them and the gift of freedom that they fought to give and maintain!!