Lindsey Stirling Concert!

November 17, 2016 by

  Paprika’s favorite musician is Lindsey Stirling.  If you don’t know who she is – she’s a violinist who plays kind of rock/contemporary violin.  The reason Paprika (10) loves the violin so much (and begged to take lessons) is because of her.  Paprika loves Lindsey’s music – and she will dance for hours to her songs.     I heard that Lindsey Stirling was playing at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood (where the Oscars are held) – so I got tickets for Paprika to go.  It was her first “rock” concert – and she was excited! Opening Act:     I got 6th Row Center Tix – so not front row, but good!  Evan took Paprika to the concert – and I stayed home with the little sisters.     I didn’t know it when I bought the...

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Little Adventures!

September 26, 2016 by

  The beaches are totally empty now that it’s late September.  The weather is still hot – and it’s almost surreal to have the whole beach to ourselves while everyone else is in school!  It’s definitely one of the perks of homeschooling.     The girls really love being at home.  On most days lately, we’ve been staying home and doing school work.  We do a lot of playing the backyard, making food in the kitchen, reading books, and playing pretend.  Using their imaginations is one of the biggest subjects in our homeschool!  Ha!     Even though we’re mostly homebodies lately, Violet (4) had been asking to go to the beach for awhile.  So, I decided to take the girls for a day at the beach last Thursday.  It was so refreshing to have...

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Fiddler on the Loose!

August 23, 2016 by

  What a fun week we’re having and it’s just starting.  🙂   On Monday, Paprika’s birthday present arrived – a violin! She’s been asking for at least two years (probably more like five years…eek!) to play the violin.  I always kind of shrugged it off because she already takes piano lessons, and I didn’t think she was really serious about playing the violin.  Well…she finally wore me down!  Haha. I spent the last month staying up all night researching violins – so I know a lot more about them than I used to know. I wanted to get the trifecta: High Quality Low Price ???  I guess there are only two things I wanted in my trifecta.  Haha.   After I narrowed it down to a few options, I let Paprika choose which violin she wanted.  She...

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The Most Mer-Mazing Birthday!

August 18, 2016 by

Paprika turned TEN on Tuesday! Unless you’ve been living under a rock, (or just started reading this blog), you know that Paprika adores the very special, one and only, Mermaid Linden! Paprika swam with Mermaid Linden last year on her birthday, which was a magical dream come true for her! Paprika on the day she met Mermaid Linden in person last year.  Paprika had been watching her YouTube videos forever and she was already a huge fan: >   We’ve been fortunate enough to see Mermaid Linden a few times since then – once at the LA County Fair, and another time at the Make-A-Wish charity walk.  But, you know, it’s just never enough time! At the Make-A-Wish walk, April 2016:     At the LA County Fair, September 2015:     Whenever we see Mermaid Linden,...

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A Decade Tomorrow!

August 15, 2016 by

  (Photo: Me and Paprika on a “date” last week at Islands) Tomorrow (Tuesday) is Paprika’s 10th Birthday! Can you believe it?! I started this blog when I was 17 weeks pregnant with her. Wowza! She was the size of an orange when I first started writing here and now she’s this big.  Geez!:     I don’t know about you, but we’ve been watching The Olympics non-stop!  This is the first time in many years that we’ve owned a television.  During the 2012 Summer Games, we tried to watch the events online using our computer, and it just wasn’t the same.  There’s nothing like relaxing on the couch, all together, watching synchronized swimming (Paprika’s favorite!) – or gymnastics (Ginger and Violet’s favorite)! 🙂 I am going to be sad when the Olympics are over,...

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Big Day (Part 1)

August 9, 2016 by

For tonight’s post, I’m going to jot down what I wrote on my phone’s Notepad feature on Saturday. Do you do that on your phone – write little notes to yourself? I have hundreds (thousands?) of little phone scribbles: ideas, dreams, observations. It’s wonderful to look back at those notes because they really capture a moment in time – a fleeting moment – and then poof! it’s gone…  I’m often glad that I collect these ideas when they’re fresh in my mind. Here’s the first half of one of the notes I wrote to myself on Saturday. I’ll post the other half of the note tomorrow… Big Day: August 6th: Paprika learned to ride a bike on her own today. It happened when I was out of the house by myself for the first...

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One Small Step!

July 22, 2016 by

  The big star of the week is Miss Ellie – who at nearly 18 months old – has taken her first steps!  Yes, she is walking!  🙂 She is a very cautious person and gets freaked out by any sort of physical danger.  I am sure that’s why it’s taken her so long to walk – she is terrified of falling!   Slowly, but surely, she is overcoming that fear.  I do lots of practicing with her around the house – holding her hands and making sure she feels safe and comforted.  It’s helping a lot. Big Sister Ginger (7) has been a huge supporter.  Ginger is always patient and happy to encourage Ellie’s walking practice.     One of her first steps:   Ellie is still not a fan of walking (or standing) – but she’s...

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P.S. I Really Love You!

July 19, 2016 by

  Happy Tuesday!  As you may recall, last year I wrote about Violet (then 3) and her LOVE for the boy next door.  She didn’t know his name, so she called him:  My Handsome. We found out his name is Matthew.  He is almost 4 years old. I sometimes call him: My Shoe (because that’s how she says Matthew). She still loves him so much.  She writes him notes and leaves him presents on his front porch for him to find later. Here is one of the letters she wrote this week She also gave him one of our Hot Wheels toy cars.  Her letter says: Dear Matthew, Roses are red Violets are Blue Sugar is sweet And I love you! Love, Secret Girl (Ginger – age 7 – helped her with the spelling!)    ...

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Happy Friday!

July 8, 2016 by

  (Photo: Paprika – age 9, Ginger – age 7, Violet – age 4, Ellie – age 17 months) Our weeks have been so full and fun lately. I’m not going to be able to cover everything we’ve been up to – but here are a few snapshots of life at the moment. Movie Nights with Paprika: I’ve been taking Paprika (9) to the movies for a date just the two of us about once/week. We usually go on a Tuesday or Wednesday night to the late show, after Mr. M gets home from work. Me and Paprika on our movie date this week:     Mr. M took Ginger (7), Violet (4) and Paprika (9) to see Finding Dory a few weeks ago (when it opened) – but the whole experience was a little too...

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Because We Have Each Other!

May 18, 2016 by

  Oh, hi! Can I tell you a cute story I want to remember? Please stop me if you’ve heard this one before… A few weeks ago, Ginger (6) was at two-hour gymnastics practice on a VERY hot day. The coach let the kids go get water, and Ginger let everyone go in front of her in line (she always does that). The coach blew the whistle just before Ginger had a chance to get a drink of water, and she asked him if she could go back to the drinking fountain. He said no. It was probably 95 degrees in the gym on that day, and Ginger was drenched in sweat. She had a full-on panic attack in the gym, and I didn’t know what was wrong (because I was on the other...

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Daughter’s Day!

May 9, 2016 by

  Hope you had a wonderful weekend!  Sunday was Mother’s Day, of course.  I have mixed feelings about Mother’s Day because it tends to leave so many people feeling left out (for lots of reasons).  And, of course, I always miss my twin daughters in Heaven especially on this day…and the fact that my own mom, stepmom, aunt, and Grandma live so far away!  So, I try to make the best of it and just have low expectations for the day…which always helps! Also, I try to stay off social media on holidays when I know I’ll be alone with the kids…it helps me to not be a “compare-bear” – as I like to say.  I really do think it’s true:  Comparison is the thief of joy. Mr. M had to work on Mother’s Day...

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Dreams Come True!

May 5, 2016 by

  Yesterday, we went to Devon’s Graduation from Nursing School!   From the moment I met Devon (almost) eight years ago, she told me that she had a lifelong dream to be a nurse!  She majored in Marketing in college, and didn’t think that going back to Nursing School was an option with small children and an already steady career. She is an AMAZING woman.  She’s has had four children in the NICU – her two daughters (born at 29 weeks and 31 weeks) – and her twin sons, Blake and Ethan, who passed away due to prematurity.  (We met at a support group shortly after Vivian and Annemarie, and Blake and Ethan passed away).  Needless to say, she has so much to offer families through her nursing care.  I’m so excited for her!!! Graduation Day: (Isn’t this...

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Happy Friday!

April 29, 2016 by

  Happy Friday! Thanks so much for the kind words of congrats on my book release yesterday! 🙂 Mostly, the girls were really excited to download it to their free Kindle app on the iPad. They’d already read the book before it came out, of course!  They are my beta readers. But, there’s something nice about having an official copy.  Ha! So, I wanted to post a few more pictures from this week (and last…and let’s face it, I STILL haven’t posted our Easter pics!) One fun thing we did this week was have Homeschool Book Club at our house! Yes, we hosted it this time – and guess what we read for book club? My book, of course! We read the first LOL Detective Club Mystery – which was super fun for me. The...

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Mermaid Magic!

April 28, 2016 by

  I know, I haven’t been blogging as much lately. I’ve been going CRAZY with my book writing! Earlier tonight, I published my second book in the LOL Detective Series (more on that later). And, I’ve also published my first full-length Romance Novel (under a pen name), and a non-fiction eBook (under a different pen name). This has all happened in the past two weeks – FOUR BOOKS! – so yes, I’ve been a busy bee! 🙂 The new cover for LOL Detective Club, Book 2: The Paris Puzzler!     I’ve been working ALL the time when everyone else is asleep, often staying up until 7am (I know) to get stuff done! I have to slow down soon, because I’m only getting about 2 hours/sleep per night and that’s not sustainable. Haha. But, there’s just...

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The Aquarium of the Pacific!

April 21, 2016 by

  Last week on Mr. M’s day off work (Tuesday) – we went to The Aquarium of the Pacific for the day!  Warning – this post is picture overload (I know!)  It’s just such a beautiful place – and we hadn’t been back since the Fall, so I took a lot of pictures. Sidenote:  If I’m not posting and you want to see pictures, check out my Flickr page.  I always upload pictures there first for the blog – and I usually have A LOT more pictures there than here.  I didn’t even think about it until my mom said she checks it for new photos. Good to know!  I’ve posted over 48,000 pictures to Flickr in the past few years.  How crazy is that?  I have to do the math and figure out...

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Paprika’s Trip To DWTS!

April 20, 2016 by

  Last week, Paprika (9) went to work with her Daddy – which is pretty great when your dad works on Dancing With The Stars!  She got to hang out backstage with Minnie, Mickey and Donald (it was Disney week, after all!) Paprika and Mr. M:   She met a bunch of the dancers and the celebrities – and just had a grand old time.   Paprika with Whitney (one of the dancers):   Here she is watching the live dress rehearsal before the show:     Watching the Dress Rehearsal up in the balcony:     During the show, her seats were down on the floor by the stage.  You can see her here in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.  I’m not sure where Mr. M is – haha!  (My friend sent...

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Paprika’s Going to DWTS Tonight!...

April 11, 2016 by

  (The picture above is Cinderella’s coach – which was parked in the DWTS parking lot this past weekend.  Mr. M snapped a picture of it for me when he was at work – and I can’t figure out how to make the picture bigger.  Ha!) The first order of business is that Paprika (9) and Mr. M will be at Dancing With The Stars in the audience tonight!  It’s Disney Week (Paprika’s favorite) – and she’s SO excited to go!  This will be her third time attending the show.   I’ve only been twice!  Haha.  I could go every week – but there’s that little issue of childcare.  🙂 We’re trying to figure out how long Mr. M has been working on DWTS – I think it’s almost 9 years now! I have pictures...

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Big Election Feelings!

March 29, 2016 by

Annika (9) loves to write stories and books while she waits around for her sisters at gymnastics. She wrote this one on Monday, and I just loved it.  So,  I’m sharing it – with her permission, of course.  I think it has a great message! Enjoy! 🙂 -Erika...

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I Can See Clearly! (Weekly Wrap-Up)...

March 25, 2016 by

  We bought our “fixer-upper” house two years and a half years ago, and I think we’ll FOREVER be “fixing it up!”  Haha.  This week, we got new windows for the whole house.  Our original windows were from 1955, and although I loved them for their vintage charm, they just weren’t functional anymore.  Most of them had stopped opening, some had cracked glass, and they were not terribly energy efficient. So, see ya later old windows!  Hello, new windows! 🙂 Here is the living room when the workers had just put in the new windows:     We replaced 13 windows, and a sliding glass door!  We have one more window to go – it will be installed in a few weeks – and then we will be done (knock on OLD wood – ha!) Here...

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Ten Year Blogoversary!

March 21, 2016 by

(Photo taken today on my 10 Year Blogoversary – This is pretty much how I look every day right now, with Baby Ellie riding along in the baby carrier wherever we go!)   Today (Sunday) is the TEN YEAR Anniversary of this blog – Yes, it’s my 10 Year Blogoversary!  Here are my posts I wrote on my 3 Year, 5 Year, and 7 Year Blogoversaries!  Seems like yesterday…   In TEN YEARS of this blog, I’ve written 2,193 Posts!  That’s about 219 posts/year, if you’re doing the math.  I remember when I started this blog, Mr. M said, “You’re starting a blog?  That’s the lamest thing ever!” Thankfully, I didn’t listen to him!  Haha. Ten years ago, my life looked a lot different.  I was pregnant with Paprika, and finishing my last year of...

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