Cute Surprise:

I was going to do my final kid check  before going to bed, and found this:

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NOT so cute surprise:

I went to take a shower this morning, and found this in the bathtub:

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What in the world is this thing?  You can’t tell from the picture, but it’s actually quite large. Eeww.

Soft Pumpkin Granola Bars

I probably shouldn’t be blogging right now… I have spilled rice to clean, spilled milk to clean, markers on the walls to wash, and a plethora of toys and other things to clean…. and that’s just from my boy!  Yes, he was at his one-year-old finest today!  He even ate toothpaste and almost drank the mouthwash before I caught him!  But, that is for another post…  Today I am sharing a new breakfast recipe I was excited to discover.  It is healthy, and fall-inspired, not-to-mention something “different” than the norm.

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The original recipe can be found here.  (side note:  I was excited to discover that this blogger is a “Yeh.”  Perhaps we are distant cousins!)  My recipe is distorted just a bit to add in sweetener.  A little maple syrup never hurt anyone, after all!  Here is what I did:

Soft Pumpkin Granola Bars

2 c rolled oats

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

1 c almond milk

1/4 c maple syrup

1 c pumpkin puree

3/4 c toasted almonds

Preheat oven to 400.  Prepare an 8-inch square pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Mix in vanilla, eggs, almond milk, and pumpkin. Fold in almonds.

Spread evenly in loaf pan. Bake for 22-25 minutes, until the top is set and starts to darken.


In all fairness, I need to disclose that this was not a huge hit with the kiddos.  Ironically, they all said they loved it , but after a few bites they changed their minds.  Personally, I wasn’t sold after the first bite, but it grew on me to where I will definitely be making these again.

Happy Friday!

Oak Glen 2013

I look forward to this day every year for so many reasons.  Oak Glen is BEAUTIFUL.  It is 20 degrees cooler than where we are.  It is the official start to Fall.  Need I go on?  This year was especially fun as the weather was much cooler than normal, and we had special friends join us!  So, we fixed some apple muffins and warm cider for the drive up…

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Waiting for friends is always the hardest part!

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Snack time; apple sauce and pumpkin spice rice krispy treats.

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We went to the park to play, and had a blast.  Time just flew by.  Even though this is a new park, it felt more like an old fashioned park with a see saw and a huge slide and things… It was awesome.

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We were so excited to discover a nature trail.  It was super short, which was perfect for our kids.  (At least my kids are not endurance walkers.)

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These two, again… I tried not to take too many pictures of them, but really I can’t resist such cuteness.  None of the pictures are posed — every time I turned around they were off playing together.

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And then we found them… wild apple trees!  The kids were so excited!

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… And back to the park!

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Story time!

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He’s so much fun… I just love this guy!

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After leaving the park, we headed to Los Rios Ranch for some apple samples and more cider.

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Would you believe all the kids were looking at the camera for our group shot?

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And, last but not least…. my newest favorite picture of Malachi.  (Even if it wasn’t totally in focus)

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What a day!  I think I’m going to go watch “You’ve Got Mail” and call it a night!  Happy fall, my friends!

Poor Spongie.

We love our kitty.  LOVE.  True love.  I know I have said this many times before, but he has added so much joy to our family!

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That being said, he has developed a bad habit; jumping on anything and everything.

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(I know… he looks so cute and innocent, right?)

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Unfortunately, that bad habit got him into trouble the other day.  You see, I was cooking breakfast; pancakes, to be exact…

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Yup.  Hot griddle on.  He jumped all the way on top of it.  I squirm just to picture it, again.

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A trip to the vet.  A big bill.  Pain meds.  Anti-biotics.  And, a cast that is driving him crazy.

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Luckily, it was only one paw that really got burned.  But, it was a doozy.  Most of the pad got a good burn.

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You’d think that would have taught him a lesson, right?  Silly little guy attempted to jump on the counter again, tonight.  He missed and went crashing down.  At 5 months old, I think he’s already down to just 7 lives.

Schoolin’ Around

I have to tell you… schooling with my two littles can be tough.  However, this year hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be.  I think it’s because my older ones are now able to be somewhat independent with certain activities.  And, they’re at the age where we can do a lot of fun things  — (By “things” I mean crafts, of course; anyone who knows me knows that is my favorite part of teaching. )  However, I just haven’t been able to take as many pictures with the little ones.  So, here is just a handful:

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Crowns for our time in Korea.

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Marshmallow jello roll-ups; you have to try these.  Sooo simple!

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South Korean animal mini books — while modeling their crowns, of course!

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And our first “Little Passports” suitcase finally arrived!

We really are enjoying our travels to different countries.  We made an awesome Korean beef stir fry.  We’ve done origami, written some Haiku poetry, and are learning to pray scripture over people in different countries.  It’s a lot of fun!


We have not one… not two… but three big traditions every September.  (LOVE traditions!)  1.  The Fair.  Done.  2.  The OCFA Firefighter picnic.  Done.  3.  Pear picking at Oak Glen.  Coming soon.  Yes, September officially kicks off the BUSY season.

Yesterday was the firefighter picnic.  Usually it is HOT… but yesterday?  71 degrees.  Absolutely perfect.  Every year starts the same; with the clowns giving us balloons and painting our faces.  I will just be honest here, since I am pretty sure clowns don’t read my blog.  The first year I thought it was kind of cute that they used elderly clowns… but this one in particular we seem to see every year and she is a bit grumpy — ha!

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The trampoline bungee… always a favorite!

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The “Wizzer” was new this year.  It was fun for the kids — spinny rides are not for me!

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Another favorite… the swings.  Poor Sierra has always wanted to go but never been tall enough.  This year she was tall enough, but not feeling good.

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The big girls rode the boats by themselves this year.  Growing up.  Sniff.  Sniff.

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And, we ended with the ferris wheel.  (And ice cream, of course.)  Until next year…

Sunday Smiles

First Day of Fall.  Family Time.  Crisp, Beautiful Weather.  I know my joy shouldn’t come from circumstances, but these things combined just have me bursting with joy!  So along those lines, here are a few things that had me smiling this weekend.

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First things first…. It’s the first day of fall.  That can mean only one thing: pumpkin.  We tried out pumpkin smoothies for our first pumpkin treat!


Oh, this girl makes me smile.  She is my one and only stuffed animal fan.  Here she is reading to “Polka Dots,” (her solid black dog), and “Purple Glitter,” (her gray and white penguin… or owl… we can’t decide!)  The names just make me smile!

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I spotted this butterfly on what’s left of our green beans, and it was nice enough to stay there while I went to get my camera.  Good, butterfly!  Sierra and I spotted several others of various sizes while lying on the slide and enjoying the fall breeze.  I’m telling you, this weather has me giddy!

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The littles are both learning the joys… and scratches of kittyhood.

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We pulled out the fall/ Halloween decorations and I am so excited to finish decorating.  As always, these girls found a project right away.  This year it happened to be “Friendly Monster Masks.”  They got right to coloring!

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“What?  You mean to tell me there’s no more ice cream?”  Priceless face.  Happy Sunday!


I know it may sound hard to believe, but I’m starting to get tired of our breakfast options.  We probably have two dozen items we rotate, and yet… I’m ready for something new!  I’ll blame it on the change of seasons, I suppose.  (And, don’t even get me started on how excited I am that Southern California actually got the memo that it’s fall this year!)  So, Friday morning with windows open, sweatshirt on, chickens clucking, and coffee brewing, we made coffee cake mugs!

ccm 1 ccm 2I used this recipe I found on Pinterest.  I thought they were pretty tasty, but not super special as in we’re going to do these every week!  My oldest liked hers, while the younger girls claimed they liked it, yet didn’t eat much.  Hmmm… never know why that is.  Malachi burned his mouth with the first bite and that was hat.  Poor little dude.  I’d say give them a try… and let me know what YOU think!  (And if you have any awesome breakfast recipes, I’d love to hear them!(  Ok, I’m off to light a pumpkin candle and pull down the fall bins from the garage — hooray!