Wednesday, March 30, 2011

our first taste of spring on the coast

i looked up from my book for just a second to watch mace bolt for the ocean. it wasn't a normal run. it was like i could see his happy care free attitude in his little run. for just a moment a lump formed in my throat and i'm overcome with appreciation for my family and moments like this, that help form who they're going to become. i never thought, upon becoming a mother, that seeing my children content and worry free would make me so happy.

today's beach finds included jellyfish, huge sand crabs, a giant crab claw, and miscellaneous seaweed. sean found a "magnetic rock" that had attracted "magnetic sand." he was thrilled about his find, but mom wasn't too thrilled when he scratched his hand on the rusty hunk of metal.

nick helped the boys build a sand castle, but the tide was creeping and wiped it out in one shot.

i read my book for 2 hours and didn't even get my feet wet. i'm getting old. hey, at least i didn't forget my camera ;)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I love relief society!

some of us gathered today to make dolls for the UCSF childrens hospital.

it's so nice to gather together, talk girl talk, and eat good food. and hey, the kids at the hospital get a little something out of it too! love all the gals there! MWAH! although i did complain a lot.... i really need to work on that one.

can i just tell you that i love being a part of this organization.

it's awesome on so many levels.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Crusty Monday in my neighborhood

across the street, we have this.....

the baseball fields are obvious. if you click on the photo, you'll notice at the base of the foothills a playground with swings, rock climbing wall, etc. also in the hills is a tree fort and rope swing.

naturally, this has become my kid's favorite spot to hang out. it's a heaven for my 3 young boys.

since the mentality of the area that we live in is to have dogs instead of children, our beloved baseball fields/playground has become the local hot spot to take your dog, let it off it's leash and let it run amok chasing frisbees and balls. this is all fine and dandy. i have nothing against dogs. just clean up their poop, and only let them off their leash if they're harmless (which most dogs are). people drive their dogs here, park their cars and let the dogs run.

really, i could care less. have fun with your pooch, all dressed up in a sweater, and pretend that you are normal. whatever.

now for my griping.

what i do care about is when you tell my children that they cant play there when there are dogs not on leashes. you want a private place for your dog to play undisturbed. (if your dog is dangerous then keep it on a leash, heard of them?)

really? really! the gall of some people. had i heard about this when it happened, this momma bear would have marched right over there and given mr. "my-dog-has-more-right-than-a-child" a piece of my mind! unfortunately it was two minutes too late.

what gives? it's a BASEBALL field. it was built for kids. it's a PLAYGROUND! i think that was built for kids too! if you want a private place for your pooch to run unleashed with no children, take mr. muggles to a freakin' dog park. ya' know, the dog parks that are everywhere in the bay area?

enough said. i really hope he yells at my kids again. i'd really like to have some words with him.


Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Friday

and i'm finding that i have more to be crusty about than things to shower with emily affection.

but one of my favorite things in the whole world is rain.

i'll never complain.

it's like one big shower, turning the hills green, and saturating the air with that fragrance we're all familiar with.

i love you rain. dont go away.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

on a walk

i just dont think i'll ever get sick of it. especially now that the rains have come and turned the hills green. (on the trail back from the beach)

nick has the week off of school, so today we ventured to Rockaway beach. we experienced rain and sun, waves and wet.

the boys thought it was fun to stand on the sea wall and get splashed by the waves.

they got pretty wet!! in the words of Sean, "the ocean showed me who was boss!")

mom and dad enjoyed the soothing nature of the coastal breeze, scenery and laughing kids.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Crusty Monday

have you ever opened several windows (i'm tech talking here, so i mean, like windows on the computer) and the speakers start blaring. then you have to go back to find which window is playing music? it's especially annoying if you're on your laptop next to a sleeping spouse, or trying to discreetly look at a website on your smartphone while standing in line at the grocery store. ya know?

this happens on sites, like and, etc etc.... the ads start blaring, GRRRR. also, people have music player on their blogs.

to save some friends, i love all my dear friends who have music players on their blogs and i've learned who you are so i can be prepared for the music to start. i like the music players on the blog. it's fun to see what people enjoy listening to, but i would like to be the one to push the play button if i'm in the mood to listen. i'm in the mood to read, that's why i'm sitting at my computer reading. i'm not to groove out. my advice, turn off the autoplay.

don't worry, he survived

Saturday, March 19, 2011


we drive past this "lookout" spot all the time. today we stopped and i shot a few pics of the boys.

look out world, here they come!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Friday Favorites Closet

what is your "go-to" food? (okay, i know i was going to stay away from food for favorites day, but what can i say, i'm a loser?)

what is it that you turn to when you are hungry, standing in the kitchen, and completely stumped on what you're going to eat for a late night/midday snack? what is it that always ends up being just what you wanted when you didn't know what you wanted?

i doesn't matter what my mood, i always turn to popcorn. i eat it almost daily (hope my dentist doesn't read this). and yes, i've become a popcorn snob. it ticks me off when i buy popcorn at the store and pop it only to find it's stale. GRRR! and i'm all about WHITE popcorn vs. yellow (although yellow pops up bigger if you're making candied or caramel popcorn)

i pop mine in an air popper. then i spray with canola oil, sprinkle with Johnny's popcorn salt and spritz a little bit of "i can't believe it's not butter" spray as i toss. in my "guilt doesn't exist" world, i would pop in Orville Redenbacher's butter oil, sprinkle with sea salt and drizzle with real butter :P. and don't even get me started on how yummy the popcorn is at the movie theater... you know the kind they must pop in liquid gold and pepper with diamonds?

popcorn, i just love you.

how do you do popcorn?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

72 Hour Kit Updating

as Mason was watching me unpack and repack the backpack, he asked, "is that for me?"
"It's for our whole family," I responded, a little despondent because it just doesn't seem like enough.

we have 3 kits. i've adapted this list from the LDS church to fit our family a little better.

kit #1 the grab and go bag. this is what you grab, when you don't even have time to think, when the water, fire whatever is seconds from endangering your life and you have to leave on foot. this must be able to be carried on your person (without a car). ours is in a backpack.
  • water
  • granola bars, jerky, canned meat (with pop-top lids)
  • emergency blankets
  • water filter (we have the water bottle that filters as you drink through a straw)
  • flashlight (with extra batteries, or crank-powered)
  • radio (with batteries)
  • pen and paper
  • knife
  • first aid kit
  • medications (acetaminophen, benedryl, ibuprofen, and whatever your family needs)
  • candles
  • lighter
  • matches
  • money (small bills)
  • small bible/scriptures
  • extra ziploc bags
  • wipes
  • a small hygiene kit (soap, toothbrushes, comb, shampoo, small towel)
  • feminine products
  • cell phone charger
kit #2 this is what you grab along with your backpack if you have a few minutes to get them in your car and drive away. i keep mine in 2 rubbermaid bins.
  • MRE's (you can buy these online, or through a military surplus store) they last for 10 years and are full "just add water" meals)
  • water filter, pump style (good ones aren't cheap! ask for one for Christmas, that's what we did ;)
  • shovel
  • axe
  • rope
  • duct tape
  • toilet paper
  • a clean change of clothes (socks and shoes too!)
  • jackets
  • poncho's
  • tarp
  • blankets (keep the sleeping bags near your 72-hour kit, so you can throw them in if you have time)
  • flares
  • toys for the kids (diapers and formula if needed)
kit #3 the safe. small portable (fire and waterproof is best) safe that you can keep your valuables in. if it's not water proof, put papers in ziploc bags.
  • money (have smaller bills on-hand)
  • immunization records
  • insurance information
  • credit cards (as well as the contact information in case you lose them)
  • birth certificates
  • marriage documents
  • portable hard-drive backed-up with valuable document/photos (i back mine up every few months or so)
  • pre-paid phone cards
  • contact list of friends and family
  • guns (with extra ammo, if that's your thing)
if you have pets, set their carrier with your kit, so you'll remember to grab them.

now that that's done, time to move onto getting the water barrels full (i never re-filled them after the move, shame on me!!), stabilizing furniture and cupboards, and taking inventory on the food storage.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Crusty Monday's

spring forward.

i hate you. you take me weeks to get over.

but i like your sister, fall back, she's my friend.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

the tsunami hits Pacifica, CA

can i be off the hook for flaking on favorites friday? what a crazy day we had!

March 11th 2011

6:14 AM phone rings, it's Sean's teacher telling me that school was canceled because there was an earthquake in Japan and tsunami was headed our way. grrreat. i woke up nick and hopped on the internet since we don't have tv. i called my friend who lives closer to the water and she said that they were told to evacuate at 4 AM, they were all ready packed up and hanging out inland at Denny's. we find a map which shows that we are right on the evacuation border. we contemplate leaving. nick suggests driving to the top of the hill behind us to the church building.

7:30 AM another friend calls and offers her home to use. she's 5 minutes away on high ground. not to mention they just bought a trampoline and i knew my kids would have fun. they were out of school for the day and thought, why not? we have nothing better to do.

8:00 AM car is packed with kids, safe (with documents, money, guns), the cat meowing in her carrier. we head up.

8:08 AM tsunami begins (the swells last for hours). we were very lucky that the waves hit during low tide. we stand at the look out point and take some photos while kids play. we go on a hike. the kids play in the WWII bunker. we have continued views of the ocean, where i snap a few shots here and there.

9:30 AM back at friends house where we decide to bake while the kids play.

11:00 AM when the swells were possibly expected to be at their biggest. i go to the lookout point, shoot a few pictures of the waves (not too exciting)

1:00 PM things have died down. i head home (mostly for the cat's sake, she was growing sick of the car)

photos that i shot. notice how high the surf is for low tide. there is definitely something happening here. we were lucky. pacifica was completely safe. the hardest-hit place near us was santa cruz, where the harbor and boats suffered a lot of damage. (click on photos for larger image)

thoughts about Japan and friends

  • the tsunami's hit hardest where Nick served his mission, in Sendai. it's incredible to watch the video footage of our old stomping grounds being devastated.
  • friends from my mission are all accounted for and okay based on who i've heard from. one friend on facebook posted that he walked home from his office in Tokyo taking him 7 hours. he came home to his wife and family safe. :) family members of some friends are still missing. prayers would be much appreciated.
we altered our emergency preparedness plan based on the events of this day. i am reminded of the power that mother nature has over us. i mean wow a whole country has moved.

i slept well last night. grateful that i had a bed and a safe family.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy B days and Hodge Podges

Happy Birthday to Mason, he's the big 5 today! we celebrated on Sunday with grandma and cake. i made my first ice cream cake and it was a hit thanks to Rach for tips ;) !

today, his actual birthday was just a typical day in the Gibbons' home. we took a walk to the beach. the hills are turning green and the wildflowers are blooming.

here is the view looking from the beach back towards our home.

nick worked on waxing some teeth for school. mikan thought that she should be involved somehow. anytime a project is in process. she thinks that she has to be in the middle of things. very irritating, but kinda cute!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday's Crusties #3

well, i think we've made it over the $4 hump.
i'm really sick of watching the numbers go up. and up. and up.

if i were in the mood, i could make this post insanely long and talk about all of the causes behind gas prices skyrocketing again, possible solutions, and upcoming repercussions.

but the cost of gas simply makes everything else cost more. and that sucks. because whether we like it or not life is easier when there is more money in our pockets.

these gas prices are killing us! pray that my kids will get into the school by our house (Mason is already in, so, YAY for that!) so we don't have to drop 4 bucks a day to drive them to and from school.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Friday Favorites #4

this Friday, let's talk about entertainment. the higher powers that be, high up in the entertainment industry know that we Americans are addicted. they know that us women need unrealistic expectations of romance to get us through the week. they know that the men need their violence and sports-fix. and they know that the kids don't bug their parents if they have mind-numbing animation to turn them into drones.

to segway into my next problem. the cost of said entertainment. ridiculous!! who wants to pay $100 or more a month to have all of these things at our fingertips? most of us do. most of us cant live without it. i'll admit, i have those days where the world has gotten the better of me and i just want to be sucked into a good movie or story.

which brings me to my point.

i love Netflix!!

since we've decided to live without cable TV, we rely on HULU and Netflix to give us what we need. it's cheap. you can watch on several devices (computer, xbox, Wii, etc) at one time. no limit. no advertising! you can fast forward and save your spot. streaming in HD :) we just love it.

two things i wish Netflix had:
1. subtitles
2. autoplay on series (like when one episode is done, the next one automatically begins)

i'm also afraid that people are going to figure out how much money they can save and the price of Netflix will also skyrocket like everything else in the entertainment industry. for example there is this article about Apple possibly taking over my beloved Netflix. the Apple corporation doesn't know the concept of "unlimited" anything. they nickel-and-dime you to death.

thank you dear Netflix.
please don't change.